• Ramyah Gowrishankar
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The soft radio

‘Soft Radio’ is a crocheted spherical device that fits in the palm of your hand. It is soft to hold and has a texture of any regular crocheted textile. The radio has a loop on top that can be twisted to change between two modes: volume and channel seeking. The values corresponding to the present 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 give a visual indication of the states of the radio and a power switch made from a metal snap button. A set of headphones can be attached via the headphone port. The materials used include simple electronic components, conductive yarns and regular wool.

The soft radio is an attempt to illustrate the opportunities of creating ‘soft’ digital interfaces by deriving interaction-gestures from the context of textiles and interpreting traditional craft techniques for incorporating electronics in a way that complements the material characteristics of textiles. The radio acts as a starting point to my doctoral research that, amongst other things, aspires to develop an interaction language specific to the medium of fabrics rather than borrowed from regular electronic devices.



Smart Textile Salon, June 6th 2013, Ghent, Belgium.