designer vincent leclerc
advisor joey berzowska
developed for second skin and softwear


blazer 01.2 is a light emitting bracelet. it is the first of several intended prototypes using different kinds of technologies. it is used to display text in space by moving the part of the body - or the whole body - wearing it.

it consists of an opened cone of synthetic silver-looking fabric and a column of 5 snap buttons. it is powered by a 9V battery and is controlled by a Basic Stamp II. when the buttons are snapped, they start to emit flashing light that appears to have a random behavior.


for this prototype, the displayed text says:
computer games dont affect kids. if pacman affected us as kids we would all be running around in darkened rooms munching pills and listening to repetitive music
it is a rather long sentence for a device that can effectively display 5-6 letters at a time. i thought about it and found it hard and irrelevant to put the emphasis on one specific word. this long sentence provides diversity and the words forming it (taken out of their context) are still interesting - affected, pacman, pills, repetitive, etc..


the code is simple PBASIC. i created a procedure for every letter of the type face and a higher-level procedure for the text. it was complied with Basic Stamp Editor 1.33.
> source code

the snaps are modified snap buttons with a translucid cap prong. i drilled a small hole in the studs and incorporated 3mm high brightness blue LEDs. they also serve as the contact switch to start the flashing of the LEDs.
> video of the snaps technology

the process of building the final prototype was quite complicated. blazer 01.2 is built with 4 layers of the synthetic fabric to isolate the various elements of the circuit.
> snapshots of the process


i had to create a font of 5 pixels high and a variable width and program it in the micro-controller. here is a sample of the typeface.

the interaction is straightforward. the user puts it on and snaps it. it starts to flash. to properly display text the user must move quite fast. examples could be: riding a bike, skating, dancing, running, skateboarding, etc.
> video of the blazer in action

vincent leclerc, 2003