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Buechley Wins Best Paper at ISWC 2006


October 2006

Graduate student Leah Buechley's paper, "A Construction Kit for Electronic Textiles", won a best paper award at ISWC 2006. The Tenth IEEE International Symposium on Wearable Computers was held October 11-14, 2006 in Montreux, Switzerland. ISWC 2006 brought together researchers, product vendors, fashion designers, textile manufacturers, users, and other interested parties to share information and advances in wearable computing.


Construction kits have long been popular as educational artifacts, supporting and encouraging creative explorations of engineering and design; but to date, such kits have had little connection with the new and expanding field of electronic textiles (e-textiles). We believe that creating an "e-textile construction kit" could provide a powerful new medium to engage a diverse range of students in electrical engineering and computer science. This paper, then, describes a construction kit designed to introduce novices to electronics, computing and design via e-textiles. We describe each component of the kit, provide examples of constructions that were built with the kit, and examine the durability of these constructions. We conclude with a discussion of the results of preliminary user testing and an exploration of our plans for continued work in this area.

Buechley is a member of the Craft Technology Group, working with Professor Michael Eisenberg. Her work is also prominently featured in the premiere issue of Craft Magazine. Buechley's article, "The Electric Tank Top", describes the use of silver-coated thread and a microprocessor to make programmable LED clothing.

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