Design Review Part 2: Dopamine Interactive Apparel


As an overview, my project (Dopamine) will be developing interactive apparel that encourages real life interaction the same way social media encourages online interaction.

Dopamine Timeline


The week of the Design Review will be designated for ordering prototyping materials and practicing my sewing skills. These materials include LED breakout boards, microcontrollers, and inexpensive fabric. The week of the second part of the design review will be for prototyping. This is ensuring I can get the LEDs to work and create an effective capacitive touch sensor. Because I will not be able to work over spring break, this week will be spent ordering final materials. This way, when I return from spring break I will have all the materials I need to complete the final artifact.  The week after spring break will be electronics assembly. This will be all soldering and programming. I have also allotted time for potential barriers. The week after that will be for sewing (attaching electronics to clothing). The final week will be validating the performance of the artifact and writing the final report.


Dopamine Fabrication Graphic


Once all PCBs/breakout boards and clothing has been aquired the first step is soldering. After soldering the addressable LEDs and capacitive touch sensors, the electronics will be tested for shorts with a multimeter. Next, conductive thread will be used to both connect the LEDs and attach them to the clothing. Clear vinyl will then be used to diffuse light and insulate the electronics.

Other Considerations

Given CU has recently moved to online courses and has shut down the ITLL due to the COVID-19 outbreak, multiple changes will need to be made to my initial plan. The most important change in the lack of resources. The most important resources for this project is a sewing machine and a soldering iron. Luckily, I have my own soldering iron and I have a friend who has offered to let me use their sewing machine. Other than these changes, all other personal changes are minimal. Another important factor to consider though is shipping times. To combat this, I plan on ordering my final materials earlier than I previously had.


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4 Comments. Leave new

  • I’m liking the plan a lot! It’s very detailed.
    For small details, it might be a good idea to pick up some handsewing; there are lots of tutorials and it might help in case of sewing machine snags.
    I really like all the contingency plans, and the planning, as described above, is incredible. I really hope that everything comes to fruition; this project sounds really awesome!

    • Jackson Hootman
      April 8, 2020 5:57 pm

      Thanks Emi! I will definitely look into hand-sewing. That sounds like a fun new skill.

  • Kyle Neubarth
    March 29, 2020 5:23 pm

    Hi Jackson, after reading through your project I’m surprised at how complicated it seems, but it seems like you’ve got everything planned out and accounted for including safety and quarantine. I’m impressed that you’ll still have the tools necessary to complete the project even in these condition, which shows some exemplary planning.

    • Jackson Hootman
      April 8, 2020 6:03 pm

      Thanks Kyle! I’ve definitely needed to downsize but I’m optimistic about still completing the project. My main transition has been to the utilization of off the shelf solutions as opposed to custom solutions.


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