DS501: Wearable Teachnology 2014


This class now has a new time and location!

This class will be focused on building wearable technology, and is meant to give students hands-on experience in building wearable computing platforms. Students will learn fundamentals of both AC and DC circuitry, basic microcontroller programming, techniques of sensor integration, as well as textile construction methods. Students will produce a final project that will be showcased to the public.
The class is designed for students who:

  • Have a background in textile and apparel design and are looking to take their work in new directions
  • Have a background in computer science or engineering and are looking to explore new interface technologies
  • Have a background in media arts or robotics and have experience interfacing with microcontrollers and sensors


Substantial class time will be dedicated to working on projects.


Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to be able to program to be able to take this course?

No programming is required to take the course.  Students will learn basic programming skills over the first month of the course before diving into projects.


Can I take this course a second time?

Yes, as this course is focused on projects, this course can be repeated.


Will I be able to work on projects in a team?  Will I have to work on projects in a team?

Students have the option of either working in teams or individually.  Expectations for the projects will be influenced accordingly.


More Information

Schedule: Tuesday/Thursday 4:30PM – 6:30PM

Instructor: Kevin Ponto

Assistant: Jess Frantal (You can see some of her work at https://blogs.discovery.wisc.edu/wearablecomputing-13/author/jfrantal/ and https://blogs.discovery.wisc.edu/projects/author/jfrantal/)

Credits: 3

This course has no official pre-requirements. Students will be learning new skill sets and will thusly be expected to be strongly motivated.

Anticipated Audience
Students may have backgrounds in Design Studies, Computer
Science, Art, Electrical / Computer Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Industrial
Engineering, and Theater.

The class will not have an official textbook.  All required readings will be posted online.

Lab Supplies
Students will be required to purchase lab supplies such an Arduino Lilypad, resistors, transistors and so on.  The necessary supplies will be listed on the course website.

You can see what projects have been completed in the past by viewing the 2013 Wearable Computing class website (https://blogs.discovery.wisc.edu/wearablecomputing-13/).


Course Format
The course will blend the lecture and studios styles. The lecture styled classes will cover subject matters such as electronics, sensors, and microcontrollers. The studio styled  classes will have hands-on learning and dedicated time to develop their projects. Final projects will showcased in a public forum.


Course Timeline

The first four weeks of the class will be dedicated to warm-up tasks.  These tasks include

LED Design Task Make a design utilizing 5 white LEDs and the RGB LED

Light and Sound Task First make a switch to trigger your sound and light activity. Next add the speaker, buzzer and LEDs to create a coordinated showcase.

Sensor Task Develop a reaction for two or more sensors that utilize the sound, buzzer or LEDs as a response. You can choose between the button, the light sensor, the temperature sensor or the “touch sensor” described at http://lilypadarduino.org/?page_id=552. The sensors do not need to be integrated with each other.

Weeks 5-6 will be dedicated to generation of project ideas.

The second half of the semester will be dedicated to final projects.