Arduino is driving a huge amount of pen nibs in a wearable computing fashion project by John Nussey and Steven Tai .
In the above video and gallery, you can see the remarkable construction of the originally-named Pen Nib Dress, a shiny, pointy stunning garment created by creative technologist John Nussey and Central St. Martins Womenswear student Steven Tai for his final degree show.
The two blended their creative and technical talents to create an A-line dress which uses moveable, vibrating pen nibs as an alternative to sequins or beading. [...] The pair decided to use the tiny motors used to make mobile phones vibrate to animate the nibs — “they’re cheap and low-power”, says Nussey — and link these up in rows of nibs with a transistor, acting as a switch, at the end of each row. “This really cut the work down”, said Nussey, as the pair were working against Tai’s degree show deadline, “meaning we didn’t have 795 nibs to individually wire, but 42 rows. It can always be upgraded to have each motor working independently.”
These rows can be switched on and off by an arduino, and subsequently programmed and sequenced. The whole lot is powered by a rechargeable lithium battery, “so it doesn’t have to be plugged in”, explains Nussey — attachment to the wall not being the hottest look when heading down the catwalk.