“Wearable technology” is creating quite the buzz these days. Though it might seem very high-tech, some very interesting wearables are actually quite low-tech and do not require any programming or high level engineering. Brooklyn Fashion+Design Accelerator based business Teknikio believes that adding electronics to wearables is easier than most objects as our clothes are already such a natural interface.
According to Carnegie Mellon, Teknikio founder Deren Guler took a nontraditional science path, following her undergraduate physics degree with a master’s in tangible interaction design from the School of Architecture. The idea for Teknikio first sparked while Guler was a graduate teaching assistant, watching architecture and design students struggling with microcontroller platforms like the popular Arduino toolkits.”
“We interact with zippers and snaps and buttons on a daily basis, and all of these can be used as inputs for a wearable circuit,” says Guler.
We caught up with Guler to help us get one step closer to understanding how approachable and digestible this new “wearable technology” can be.
You told me that wearables are actually quite low-tech. Explain where the misconceptions are.
Sure, I meant this in reference to a “getting started”. I feel when people hear “wearables” they think of Apple watches and other high-tech gadgets, when really anything we wear is a wearable. Adding even the simplest “low-tech” circuit, take for example a light switch, will qualify it as wearable tech. There are many kits and tools on the market that actually make getting started with wearables very accessible. At Teknikio we even focus on people who might not know how to sew. I think sewing a simple light circuit is a wonderful first sewing project and teaches you several different techniques of circuit design and sewing at once!
Read the full interview here.