Rainbow Raincoat

Samantha Schulman

An interactive wearable raincoat that uses LEDs to find the rainbow.



I came to ITP to combine my love of fashion with my skills in engineering. Therefore, for my PComp and ICM final project I am creating an interactive wearable jacket in which a story is revealed through its normal user interactions. I sewed and am programming Arduino Flora with Adafruit's Neopixels to create the story. The jacket will begin as solid white. As the user wears it, and thus zips it up and down and puts hands and things into the pockets, pieces of the story will reveal themselves and change. Two flashing Neopixels will represent eyes and serve as the story's character. They will travel throughout the jacket collecting the colors of the rainbow; when the jacket is fully zipped, a complete rainbow will be revealed over the heart. I want to provoke whimsical-ness and imagination, and play with the idea of a rainbow appearing on a raincoat.

Designers and engineers are constantly experimenting with light, technology and clothing; however, I feel as if the real user interaction is either confusing or non-existent. I want to give a purpose to implementing technology in clothing in a non-practical way. I want it to be about the spectacle, as all lovers of fashion desire, but I want that spectacle to build a deeper connection between the garment, the user, and the outside world.

Later at ITP I hope to explore how technology can disrupt and change sustainability in textiles and the impact of waste and mass producing on the environment and human lives. For now I believe in building a piece that is both durable and malleable, so that it can be worn to death by every user that comes along. I also hope to provoke images of beauty, love, science, and nature in an abstract way within the piece.


Introduction to Physical Computing ITPG-GT.2301.006, Introduction to Computational Media ITPG-GT.2233.007