Weaving traditions and stories within families by the combination of high-end technology and durable textile bed linen.
TexTales consists of a set of bed sheets that have images woven into the fabric. The images are recognized by a custom made software that displays 3D characters from a fairy tale through a tablet or smartphone onto the textile. This allows parents to create personal stories with their kids before going to sleep or during a play time.
TexTales is a project developed further from earlier work of Kristi Kuusk, called QR-coded traditions. TexTales consists of a set of children’s bed sheets with images woven into the fabric, and an application for tablets and smart phones that augments fairy tale characters on the bed sheets. The images are recognizable by a custom made software and create interaction possibilities between digital and physical worlds, old and young generations, past and future. When a woven flower on the fabric is scanned and recognized by the tablet or mobile held by the storyteller, the child can play with the textile to manipulate the digital visual.
With the support from the Kickstarter community we want to develop TexTales further by creating a storyline and characters that actually matter. So you are more than welcome to share your ideas and suggestions on our Facebook site.
The TexTales work with the iOS (5.0 and higher) and Android (2.3 and higher). The application works on Smartphones and Tablets, with a rear facing camera.
Here is how the awesome rewards look like!
This work is a collaborative design project from Eindhoven University of Technology, Industrial Design Department with Unit040, Johan van den Acker Textielfabriek and studio Toer. It is a part of the CRISP Smart Textile Services project.
Kristi Kuusk came with the initiative of the project. She is connected to the Eindhoven University of Technology as a PhD candidate and her research is focusing on finding possibilities for more sustainable fashion design through the use of technology and crafts inspiration.
To realize the project she decided to collaborate with Unit040 (Guido Van Gageldonk), Toer (Wouter Widdershoven, Castor Bours), Acker (Léon Meertens) and Jolle Jolles.
Toer is a design company. They are responsible for the aesthetic part of the project. This involves designing our textile illustration, products and the story.
Unit040 is a company specialized in creating 3d animations in combination with advanced technology. They take care of developing our application.
Acker is a textile factory from the Netherlands with more than 100 years of experience in creating high quality Textiles. Naturally they take care of the production of our durable textile.
Jolle Jolles is the social media officer in charge of spreading the word about TexTales. He's the reason you are reading about us now!
Ecological, societal and economical problems around textile and garment production industry have made it apparent that finding new directions is inevitable. The project tackles this on-going system change towards sustainability through proposing smart textile services as an emerging field to get inspired by craft techniques and principals, such as quality of the work, passion for betterment and skills developed from experience. With the TexTales the high quality woven textile has gained an extra dimension. Its content can be updated by the digital layer it communicates to. This could extend the lifecycle of the textile by changing the stories it tells.
Long-lived craft ways of working with the material and making for a specific person appear again in sustainable models where the end-users value the result higher and therefore turn away from over-consumption. TexTales connects traditional values and crafts with digital technologies for sustainability. It is offering a new way to translate fairy-tale knowledge into people's personal experiences and pass that wisdom through generations.
What people talk about us?
"My kids and I had the pleasure of trying out Textales at home. Even though my kids are quite shy, they absolutely fell in love with the opportunity too play with their teddy bear alongside fairytale figures! This is a great way to show them how the physical and digital world can blend together. I see a whole range of opportunities for our bedtime stories! :-)" Christine De Lille, mother of Thomas, 4 years old and Lise, 2,5 years old
"Textales - whan I was a little boy, I saw an old version of Peter Pan 1953 movie and before tucking into bed, I imagined what would be like to be that boy. In Soviet Union our sheets were usually rather boring, but in case of any luck to have some patterns on them, by moving them with your hands and feet you could create different lanscapes to create new worlds and stories to put you to sleep. From the moment I saw the idea of Textales, I understood that this is not boring product development, this is from the heart and is pure innovation. So, I am looking forward to meet my pillow case, which says me good night when I'm setting my alarm clock on the phone ;) Good speed!" Indrek Kaing, Swedish Business Awards 2009 - Innovator of the Year
“Lovely to bring this textile tactility into this digitalized world of current apps. Beautifully woven plaits with just a lovely interaction.”Marina Toeters, by-wire.net, Design and research in fashion technology
"The project is creating new meaning and communication language to the future user. " Marit Ahven Estonian Academy of Arts, Fashion Design Lecturer & HULA project manager
“It looks cool, it looks really cool!“Ralf Jacobs, High-tech metrology systems developer
“This project is a clear example that we can interact with the digital world with more than just our fingers - with our bodies”Dr. Oscar Tomico, Designing Quality in Interaction Research Group at the Department of Industrial Design, Eindhoven University of Technology, Assistant Professor
"I like the surprising element when the characters pop up, it gives a new dimension to the experience of story telling."Dominika Potuzakova, User experience and interaction designer
TexTales Design Story
To answer the question how can new smart textile products and services transform the society towards more harmony and better connections between people Kristi started to look into traditional crafts. She found fascinating the way they have been “coded” by the society while carrying tremendous amount of information and meanings.
Folkloric embroidery, traditional patterns on mittens and socks, the variations of colors on skirt-stripes – they all meant something specific for the family or village producing and wearing those. They traditionally used to be taught and developed within local communities.
Once the visual and conceptual similarities between Estonian mittens and QuickResponse (QR) code revealed, the story took interesting direction. To ask the question, how could traditional crafts support or guide technology as a new craft Kristi experimented a lot with merging QR-codes with folkloric embroideries and prepared some concrete proposals of use of this nationalized QR code embroidery.
One of them was a pillow telling fairy tales.
It was an idea to have a set of bed-sheets that while scanned start telling a fairy-tale that originates from the region which patterns and colors are used in its design. So, sheets with Danish colors would tell you a bed-time story about The Little Mermaid or The Ugly Duckling while one imitating Muhu skirt in Estonia shows you a cartoon about a princess that would not smile or allows a parent to read out another story about The GoldSpinners. The beauty of all this approach is that the information referred by the code is changing in time, so it is another way a garment to become more valuable while being used. It carries tradition and history in many levels while encouraging new ways of interaction.
Being part of the Smart Textile Services project in CRISP gave opportunities to present these ideas for audience of consortium partners. Unit040 (Guido Van Gageldonk), Toer (Wouter Widdershoven, Castor Bours), Acker Textielfabriek (Léon Meertens) and Jolle Jolles found the project interesting to take into a new level.
Together we started trying out how to allow new way of storytelling by the use of augmented reality fairy tale textile and tablet combination. We started testing what kind of weave allows the best image recognition, what kind of color and textile combinations.
We iterated on the ideas and technologies to create the Bedtime Stories prototype, which has already some characters appearing on it.
As the final outcome of what will the textile look like and what will be happening on the screen also depends on your input, we can only estimate roughly now the steps for delivering fairy tale textiles to you! This will get more specific on the way!
Our partners cover all the ares for producing the TexTales. As described previously we have Eindhoven University of Technology, Industrial Design Department with Unit040, Johan van den Acker Textielfabriek and studio Toer involved throughout the whole development from the first sparks of ideas up to the delivery of the bedlinen!
For preparing the fairy tale bedlinen and also the pledges we have teamed up with a high quality sewing company in Estonia, Pärnu. We have worked out the samples in collaboration with Pambu and gained full confidence in the skills and level of work provided. We will be spending some weeks in the factory to give you insights of the work in progress and make sure everything will be delivered as promised.
Eventually we'd like TexTales to develop into a community based platform that would allow users to create their own characters, stories and share those between families. Or building and sharing them within the families. This is not the scope of the current Kickstarter project, but could be a next step along with the different application areas.
Risks and challenges
The TexTales will be a success if we have enough and compelling stories, we want to do this with the help of the Kickstarter community.
We are a group of designers who have teamed up with a software company experienced in App development for augmented reality, and a textile company specialized in weaving. So for the main components of the product we have everything in place to start producing the TexTales alongside with the TexTales App.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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