Stressed out Office Worker with affection for snakes.


17 Oct 2017


CPSC 581

On this page, I present the design process and the end project of Sam the Snake: An interactive neckrest-scarf wearbable acessory. The following will outline the intended audience for this acessory.

This project was created for CPSC 581: Human Computer Interaction II. It is a Arduino project that used Capacitive Touch Sensors, Servos, FSR sensor and LEDs.

Git Repository Source Code Zip Download+ReadMe

Does it meet the requirements of an INTERACTIVE WEARABLE ACCESSORY?

Interactive Various sensors bring the snake to life and also feed information to remember things about the user. It then uses this data to enhance the user's experience by adding a little life and joy while they work.
Wearable The neckrest rests safely against the the neck and shoulders. The scarf can be tightened, tied, or held together to make it portable.
Accessory While not aesthetically pleasing, it does add to the outfit giving the impression of someone who is comfy and warm.

Intended Client:

  • Feels Stressed out
  • Uses neck pillow support to circumvent neck and shoulder pain
  • Works at an office job that requires a lot of typing and sitting
  • Performs various fidget habits

Brainstormed Ideas (Hover/Click on Images for Further Details)

The initial theme explored was to create something that fit a story or told a story.

Guiding Hood

Hooded Cape that shows direction received from phone application, akin to Google Maps but with clothing feedback. So, instead of looking at your phone, you can feel the direction that you're headed.

Literally feel the right way to go!


Storytelling wig that acts like medusa hair. It aided in storytelling by creating various shapes throughout a narrator's story.

Say it with your hair

Long-Distance Thread

Red Thread of Fate: 4 inch-wide thin 'string' that can be used as a lanyard, hairtie, etc...It wcould be tied into knots and the person on the other end can see the places of stress. That other person can then tap to send vibrations to the knotted place to 'soothe their worries'
Red Thread of Fate (Part 2):  It could seend proximity to each other, letting out a dinging noise if the two pass. Various combinations of colors can be combined to create messages.

A string to tie two people together no matter the distance

GPS-Trackable Headband

Amusement Park Ears drop GPS trackable trail of weare

Track your wandering kids

Mythical Monster Hat

Based on descriptions of the 'Dwende', a mysterious creature of Phillipine lore, this is a hat that would punish its wearer for using their arms to point. Instead they would need use their mouth.

Little mischievous hat game

Fan-running Legstraps

Fog dancing leg straps. A physical bead sequence on the back sets the keyframes to trigger to the fans to blow off.

Dance with air

Keep-Awake Gas Mask for the Post-Apocalyptic Classroom

The Stay-Awake-No-Matter-What Gas Mask. Keeps the wearer awake by sending vibrations, spurts of water, and flashes of light if it senses the user is falling asleep.

Especially at the world's end, you must stay alert

Full Body Game in Belts

The invisible monster game. Full-body straps that create the illusion of a monster crawling over them with vibrations and water. Wearer must press the buttons closest to these signs to 'catch the monster'

Full body whacking game

Heated Ski-mask

A ski-mask that would show off how cold it was a-la-video game heart system. It would trigger a heatpack if it was too cold

Wear the visible battle against the cold

Metronome/Tuner in Saxohpone Strap

Tuner Metronome Saxophone's Neckstrap. Tuner/Metronome embedded into neckstrap with buttons triggered at the adjustable area of the strap. Context.

Portable practical support for the mobile musician

Refinements (4 ideas)

There were many many ideas formed but, as was suggested, I tried to combine the best ideas. These are what resulted.

Transformative Displays

Mouse Ears-Hood Combo: Mouse Ears, as if playing the role of a fairytale guardian, determine the monstrosity or angelic look of the paired hooded cape. It also has buttons that would give encouragements to the hooded cape

Mouse Ears-Hood Combo: Hooded Cape, as if playing the role of a child-like creature who has yet to learn the world, wears a cape that shows off their morality. The main design was to match that of a bird and took inspiration from pinocchio. The top part of the cape would extend if the wearer told a lie or did something bad. Warted spikes would appear around their sides. Altenatively, if the wearer was good (as percieved by the one wearing hte mouse ears) then frills would appear on the sides of the cape and they would hear sounds of encouragement.

Long-Distance Wearables

"The Space Between Us" Masks: A pair of matching accessories(Masks and hats considered) that would show off the environment of the other wearer's weather. In other words: Person A is feeling a hot sunny day surrounded by a lot of noise. Person B's acessory would show off that feeling.

Wearable Accessorized Game

Fairy Chessboard. A led light would represent the fairy on the board. The board would be described in terms of strings. Physical beads snapped on the parts of the strong to show the player's moves. The main point is to prevent the fair from reaching its goals by placing the beads in areas one at a time, each (the fairy and the wearer) taking turns

Memory Seeded Wearable

The garden of memories scarf: This scarf based on seeded memories (a la facebook, independent app upload) would bloom over time to reveal these memories.

Now of all the above ideas I narrowed it down to refine two: the scarf and the hooded cape.

I thought about a detachable rain hood to keep track of bad addicting habit triggers which refined upon the idea of sensing morality then displaying that outwards.

I thought about a portable scarf that takes pictures and then shows the palette on the scarf later on. The final resulting project that I embarked on, however, came, as the stress was building up. At the end of the day, what I wanted the most to create for this assignment was to evoke the feeling of comfort, of close companionship, of something that remembers. So I turned the scarf into a neckrest/neck pillow then carried on from there.

The Result

Neckrest Scarf. Sam the snake, the Rememberer

W.I.P Photos

Refined the design to implementation + based on resources that I could procure

Refined Circuit Diagram+Chart (Resistors for LEDS are implied)

Storyboard for video with snake.

Touch Capacitor

I adjusted the size of the capacitor as I went along the implementation

Aluminum foil supported by fusible interfacing was used as an alternative to conductive fabric.

Lesson Learned: Don't melt the fusible interfacing


Final Product

Due to time constraints: the final look was not accomplished, however, all the general components exist.

Unfortunately, short/open circuits when transferring the wires into the headrest,compromised the functionality of this project.

Features Listed in the Code:

- Two Touch capacitors are on the tail and the head which would trigger movement in the snake via servos. These actions would be nod, dance, trigger fan to block peripheral vision (for focusing purposes).
-An FSR was embedded in the head, and if it were working as expected, trigger lights, servos, and a vibrating disc motor to react in different ways. The more it was pressed, the item rememebrs this to determine stress level and increase interaction/movement/vibration. There was a stretch goal to get it to remember which time of day such high stress levels but there was no time to accomplish this.

Shown below is a video of the less capable cousin remade in less than 3 hours: Sam Junior the Snake. The snake has one eye.Don't mention it. The snake is a little self-concious.
Petting the Snake
Who's a good snake?

Password for video: p1snake

Songs used in video: Sundown Breeze with guitar jenmuse (
Piano Loop- Calm Storm 85 by DesignedImpression(

The above image demonstrates the snake's minute head movement as such is difficult to observe in the video. There is a servo or rotating part sewn into the side of the head.