‘Soft radio’ is a crocheted spherical device that functions like a normal radio but uses textile-related actions (e.g. wrapping and twisting) as interactions to operate the radio. This prototype explores the opportunities for creating ‘soft’ digital interfaces by deriving interactions from the context of textiles and re-interpreting traditional craft techniques for incorporating electronics.
The radio has a texture of any regular crocheted fabric and fits in the palm of one's hand. It has a loop on top that can be twisted to change between two modes: ‘Volume’ and ‘Channel-seeking’. The values corresponding to the current mode (i.e. volume or fm band frequency) can be changed by wrapping the knitted chord around the crocheted sphere. The direction of the wrapping determines if the values are decreased or increased. It has 2 LEDs that visually indicate the states of the radio and a power switch made from a metal snap button.
This project is a starting point to my doctoral research that, amongst other things, aspires to develop an interaction language specific to the new medium of e-textiles rather than borrowed from regular electronic devices.
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