Keeping baby safe – monitoring baby clothes

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Fashion design student Peter Li (李俊毅) has created an innovative baby garment that measures the child’s temperature and UV exposure, giving a visual warning should these stray outside normal values. The work was part of Peter’s Master course in Fashion Design at Shih Chien University (實踐大學) where he was looking to provide monitoring functionality for parents, which, for convenience, was integrated within baby clothes in both a practical and attractive way. Together with engineering graduate Joe Chen (陳彥安) from neighbouring Taiwan National University (NTU) they created a fully working garment.

A video of the final baby suit is shown below. More details of the design and its evolution are given subsequently.

The initial design had the electronics in the main body of the garment with LED’s in the buttons. The LED’s are used to indicate if the baby’s temperature is of concern or that UV exposure us high. It was realised that the main body of the garment gets dirty quickly and will need washing often, therefore an alternative design was considered where the main electronics resided in the hood.
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A remaining challenge was the positioning of the temperature sensor, which ideally should be close to the skin, at the back of the neck for example. To solve the problem, Peter partitioned the circuit so that the main controller, battery and UV sensor were in the hood, while the temperature sensor (which needs power and data lines) was in the collar of the baby suit. Snaps were used to connect both parts of the circuit as illustrated below. This modular approach enables multiple baby suits to work with a single hood, therefore you can swap the hood to a new suit when the current one gets dirty and needs washing. The temperature sensor and snaps are washable. The hood can also be hand washed provided the battery is removed first.

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The following diagram shows the layout of the LED’s, UV sensor, temperature sensor and the snaps on the collar that connect to the hood

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Work along the way…
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The works was completed as part of the Electronic Fashion II, workshop given by Assistant Prof. Paul Gough at the dept. of Fashion Design, Shih Chien University (實踐大學), Taiwan.

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