GlowScarf: The Cellular Scarf

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The GlowScarf is a scarf that reacts to your cellular phone; when you receive a call the scarf begins to glow. By giving the cell phone’s ring an external signal, the wearer is free to embrace the status of being in-demand, without necessarily needing to answer the call. The glow of the scarf says, “I’m important”; the wearer can then decide to take the call or to merely bask in its glow.

The detection of the cell phone’s ring will be accomplished with a simple circuit (diagram here) which will then activate the glow. Initially I will use the circuitry from a novelty pen, to ensure operability and robustness for the initial prototype(s).

My current plan is to knit the scarf myself. I am interested in light colored and iridescent yarns that will enhance the glowing effect.

In order to create the lighting effect, I plan to use fiber optics in conjunction with super-bright LEDs. I looked into using EL wire, but the general consensus is that it is difficult to work with (also expensive), and probably not the most conducive for the comfort factor I’m looking for. Instead, I will use several strands of thin fiber optics which will be etched (most likely with a laser cutter) in order to refract the light along the length of the fiber. I have seem samples of this type of fiber optic application, and it produces a subtle yet noticeable effect. I have not determined how many LEDs or how many fiber optic strands I will need.

More illustrations to come.

(related links can be found here)

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