Funded! This project was successfully funded on February 18, 2013.

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MJ v1.0 The first jacket that allows the user to create music through motion and touch sensors with a mobile app.

The Creators Project - "This idea has the potential to be revolutionary in the live performance aspect of controller-based music."

TechCrunch - "This is a cool concept and an interesting and kinetic way to trigger and control beats and sounds.“

Ubergizmo - "Definitely one of the more interesting articles of clothing that might just baffle future archaeologists as they dig this up under a pile of nuclear dust"

Hypebeast - "Pieces like this are the next step for a DJ to bring his live show to the next stratosphere."

Dj Techtools -"Why not wear your MIDI controller on you while you’re walking around?"

THE WEARABLE MACHINES PROJECT I MJ v1.0                                 Imagine being able to create music by using your body as an interface. Imagine being able to extend that jacket to make it work not only with music, but with whichever devices you have: A Kinect, an iPod, Nike Plus. We believe that the way we interact with our clothing is changing; clothing should not only be a way of covering your body while helping you get laid, our relationship with clothing should be much more than that: clothing should be an extension of our body, and we’re using wearable technology to do that. 

We are working with the best musicians, DJ's and electronic artists worldwide to make this project a success. Our first product is the MIDI Controller Jacket. A MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) allows communication between digital music instruments, computers, and other devices (for example, using the jacket’s sensors to send music notes to your DAW). It allows users to control and make music kinetically (through body movements), through body sensors, and by detecting your acceleration and flexion. 

The MJ v1.0
All of our jackets draw their inspiration from electronic component devices. This specific jacket is modeled after an LED light, attempting to recreate the electronic component’s form in real life.

Image of the first prototype of the Jacket, the final design may vary.
Image of the first prototype of the Jacket, the final design may vary.

DEMO I MJ v1.0

Leaving the electronics aside, the jackets are not ordinary, their construction is very complex.  We work with industrial grade materials which are commonly used for other purposes (boat sails, camping tents),they are completely waterproof and hard to work with. They are not regular clothing materials.

The Jackets include a user manual and an account on our website so that we can work together with all of our users to create a product that they need.

The jacket’s design is so complex, that, currently, it can only be crafted by hand by Mexico’s top tailor, and the president of the Mexican union of tailors: J. Lobato M.
The jacket’s design is so complex, that, currently, it can only be crafted by hand by Mexico’s top tailor, and the president of the Mexican union of tailors: J. Lobato M.

The Technology                                                                                            Our first technology is programmed to be a midi controller, but can be adapted to any purpose. We’ve included several sensors so the users can reprogram them. 

- Four flexible sensors which can detect your finger’s position
- One accelerometer which can detect your arm’s acceleration
- A joystick
- 4 push buttons

All of these sensors and buttons can be configured by the user, but they come with presets and initial configurations. The sensors are invisible except for placeholders.  This is to make sure that the jacket can be used as a regular jacket. We want integration to be complete, and that's why we're working so hard in making sure that, while the sensors are there, they do not affect the look and feel of the jacket. The jacket looks like a regular jacket, and it can be worn under any condition.

This is our first jacket, and we're developing this technology from the ground up. The accelerometers make using the jacket a different type of interface for composing music, adding kinetic capabilities.The jacket will be a platform. This is just the initial functionality, but we’re creating a hackstore that will allow users to upload their own presets and their own programs, so if you want to use it to control your iPod, to mix video, add extra sensors, or hack it to interact with a kinect, you’ll be able to do it. All of our code will be available freely, with libraries that will make extending the functionality of the jacket straightforward.

The final hardware will vary from this, we’re considering adding a second accelerometer, gyroscopes, and replacing the push buttons.

The Software 
We’ve developed a VST plugin so that the jacket can be connected to Ableton live wirelessly. We’re working on a mobile application for iOS and Android that will allow users to interact with the jacket in a simple way.

Initial mockup of the mobile app.
Initial mockup of the mobile app.
  • Sound Capturing/Usage
  • By recording in the cell phone/Tablet
  • Pressing a key and recording a sound
  • Configurable pad to match the sensores
  • Key Mapping
  • Define which keys go with which sounds
  • Define which keys add an effect
  • Define if the keys are used as buttons, sensors, if they’re pressure sensitive, etc.
  • Define the threshold to trigger actions
Digital DIY manual for the midi jacket, the source code for the app, a cost breakdown of our products so you know how much money we're making off the other donors, and we will set up a poll where donors for this reward can vote for our twitter background.
Digital DIY manual for the midi jacket, the source code for the app, a cost breakdown of our products so you know how much money we're making off the other donors, and we will set up a poll where donors for this reward can vote for our twitter background.
This poster symbolize the uncontrollable nature of an oppressive mechanical system which changes little regardless of who's in charge... either that, or we just thought that Obama riding a mechanical T-Rex looked bad-ass.
This poster symbolize the uncontrollable nature of an oppressive mechanical system which changes little regardless of who's in charge... either that, or we just thought that Obama riding a mechanical T-Rex looked bad-ass.
Kickstarter Edition T-Shirt with photoluminescent ink.          (The brains light up the darkness of ignorance.)
Kickstarter Edition T-Shirt with photoluminescent ink. (The brains light up the darkness of ignorance.)
Thermochromic anti-copyright t-shirt. As your body heat rises from the nervousness of the copyright police, any potentially copyright violating graphic will disappear.
Thermochromic anti-copyright t-shirt. As your body heat rises from the nervousness of the copyright police, any potentially copyright violating graphic will disappear.
A hoodie inspired by astronaut helmets, made with silver cotton. Protects your body from electromagnetic radiation and control your iOS devices with a wifi joystick from up to 100 feet away.
A hoodie inspired by astronaut helmets, made with silver cotton. Protects your body from electromagnetic radiation and control your iOS devices with a wifi joystick from up to 100 feet away.
A hoodie with speakers integrated into it. Let's you listen to music without having to insert headphones in your ear. Allows you to listen to music and control your iPhone/iPod/Android wirelessly through bluetooth.
A hoodie with speakers integrated into it. Let's you listen to music without having to insert headphones in your ear. Allows you to listen to music and control your iPhone/iPod/Android wirelessly through bluetooth.
Early Bird. Only 100 at this price. The Midi Controller Jacket. Own one of the first Wearable Machines. Make music, perform, buy it because you think it's cool, program it to work with other devices. You're the boss.
Early Bird. Only 100 at this price. The Midi Controller Jacket. Own one of the first Wearable Machines. Make music, perform, buy it because you think it's cool, program it to work with other devices. You're the boss.
MJ v.01 Midi Controller Jacket Serialized Prototype with a DIY speaker package. Additionally, includes four thermochromic t-shirts and the Obama poster.
MJ v.01 Midi Controller Jacket Serialized Prototype with a DIY speaker package. Additionally, includes four thermochromic t-shirts and the Obama poster.
The Midi Controller Jacket, a text of your choosing to the label of your jacket, an 8"x11" black and white Hand-Sketch of your choosing, by our eccentric Egyptian designer, four t-shirts, a DIY Speaker Package, and the Obama poster.
The Midi Controller Jacket, a text of your choosing to the label of your jacket, an 8"x11" black and white Hand-Sketch of your choosing, by our eccentric Egyptian designer, four t-shirts, a DIY Speaker Package, and the Obama poster.
Midi Controller Jacket with your name printed in the label and you will be part of MACHINA's Autumn/Winter 2013 runway performing to an audience of 500 people including media, the location will be revealed February 28th, 2013. (Plane Ticket not included)
Midi Controller Jacket with your name printed in the label and you will be part of MACHINA's Autumn/Winter 2013 runway performing to an audience of 500 people including media, the location will be revealed February 28th, 2013. (Plane Ticket not included)

The Team
We are a group of independent developers and designers with ideas of freedom and of the direction that this new industry should take. We ask for your support so that we can produce this wearable machine and finish the mobile applications. The team consists of:

  • An Egyptian fashion designer
  • An irreverent preacher of freedom of speech
  • A trend-hunting fashionista
  • An insecure graphic designer 
  • The king of the tailors
  • A great builder
  • A revolutionary cineast
  • A Pakistani legend

The Money Where is the money going?                                                       Creating clothes by hand gets very expensive very fast, particularly when the patterns are not common. We need to raise capital so that we can finish this prototype and manufacture it on a larger scale. Unfortunately, producing the jackets individually is very expensive and we need capital to produce them in bulk. Beta-testing the technology also gets expensive: We need to make sure that the technology is washable, and do usability and resistance tests with different materials, to make sure the products last.

The price of producing the products
The price for producing these products is directly related to the amount we produce. Keeping with our philosophy of complete openness, we’re including our approximate cost of materials for 1000 pieces.

- Wearable Technology: $60.75 USD (Wifi + 6000 Mah Battery + MicroUSB port + waterproofing + sensors + labor)
- Jacket: $70 USD. (fabrics + labour)
- Integration and packing: $50 USD

*This is just our direct materials cost, without taking into account the development of the application an technology.

The Community
We realize the importance of a strong community in the success of a product. That’s why we’re releasing all of our diagrams, and creating libraries for our products. In addition to that, we’re starting to set up hacklabs which teach users how to extend the functionality of the jacket, and create the jacket from scratch with DIY materials, in case they find it too expensive, or don’t like our designs. All of the extensions created by users will be available online in a hackstore.

We need your support                                                                                              We are a group of independent developers and designers with ideas of freedom and of the direction that this new industry should take. We ask for your support so that we can produce this wearable machine and finish the mobile applications.

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

- General
Every project is different. The Midi Jacket is a product that was created by merging different areas: fashion, design, technology and production. We therefore have different risks and challenges for each area. Keeping this in mind, there are relatively few risks because we have developed 11 prototypes with different functionalities to be able to beta test with different musicians, engineers and artists around the world. We’ve used their feedback to improve the jacket to make sure that everything runs smoothly. Still, the risks, divided by area, are the following:

- Fashion
Not many risks here. We’ve built the prototypes: the main challenge here is managing to completely hide the electronics. There’s a slight possibility that we won’t be able to industrialize the technology and make it as thin as we want. But as it stands in prototype phase, we’re already satisfied with the results.

- Technology
The technology side presents bigger challenges. The first is washability. We’re working very hard to make sure that the jacket can be washed easily, just by sending it to the drycleaners. There is a risk that we will not be able to do this fully. This will mean that part of the technology will have to be removable, if that were to be the case, it would just mean pulling something off and putting it back on simply.

- Production.
This is probably the hardest part. The big challenge here is to manage to integrate the technology cheaply, while building the jacket. Finding a manufacturer that will want to integrate the technology insertion into their process is a big challenge. There is a risk that manufacturers will refuse to do this, in this case we will have to build all of the jackets by hand, meaning a higher cost for us.

- Application.
Developing the application is a whole different ball game. The application will have to connect using Wifi, the main issue here is making sure that it can connect in ad-hoc and infrastructure mode in an intuitive way. The configurability and UI of the application should be very easy to use and understand, but profound enough for a DJ to be able to use it.

FAQ

  • Once the project is successful, you can choose your size. (sizes will be available in XS - S - M . L - XL)

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  • If you live in the US, shipping is included, if you live outside of the US, you have to add shipping.

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  • Yes. Depending on the product, there are additional costs for international shipping.

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  • Not hot at all. The jacket is made from very specialized material, which are lightweight, and resistant. The jacket also has vents under the armpits and in the back so that air will flow easily. The musicians we've worked with have reported that the jacket is surprisingly cool, similar to wearing jeans in warm weather.

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  • Only in BLACK (Electric Black Mamba)

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  • You just open a flap, and connect it to a USB port.

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  • Yes. Send it back to us within 15 days, and we'll change the size.

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  • All of our products are unisex, hoodies and t-shirts in small sizes look good in both sexes.

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  • We started working on the midi jacket about a year ago. After several prototypes with arduino, and a desktop app, we’ve come up with something that works very well. Currently, we’ve got the prototype working, the electronics are completely integrated and hidden. We’ve begun programming the mobile app, make the technology washable and really thin to embeded into the clothing. We need the money to mass produce the clothing and technology.

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  • The jacket is unisex, it looks good in males as well as females. In fact, the jacket looks pretty good on women.

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    23 backers

    For only $5 dollars, you'll receive a digital DIY manual for the midi jacket, the source code for the app, and a detailed cost breakdown of all of our products so you know how much money we're making off the other donors. We will also set up a poll where donors for this reward can vote for our twitter background picture for a day. (No restrictions!)

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    5 backers

    A poster of Obama riding a mechanical T-Rex while wearing the Midi Controller Jacket, plus all of our protest stickers. Meant to symbolize the uncontrollable nature of an oppressive mechanical system which changes little regardless of who's in charge... either that, or we just thought that Obama riding a mechanical T-Rex looked bad-ass.

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    Kickstarter Edition T-Shirt with photoluminescent ink. (The brains light up the darkness of ignorance.)

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    8 backers

    Thermochromic anti-copyright t-shirt. As your body heat rises from the nervousness of the copyright police, any potentially copyright violating graphic will disappear. Comes with five protest stickers for your computer/house/kitchen/walls/subway/stop signs/walls/work/boss's office/local government office.

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    5 backers Limited (45 left of 50)

    Joystick Hoodie. A hoodie inspired by astronaut helmets, made with silver cotton. Protects your body from electromagnetic radiation and at the same time gives you the possibility to control your iOS devices with a wifi joystick from up to 100 feet away.

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    11 backers

    A hoodie with speakers integrated into it. Let's you listen to music without having to insert headphones in your ear. Allows you to listen to music and control your iPhone/iPod/Android wirelessly through bluetooth.

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    Add $35 USD to ship outside the US
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    27 backers Limited (73 left of 100)

    Early Bird. Only 100 at this price. The Midi Controller Jacket. Own one of the first Wearable Machines. Make music, perform, buy it because you think it's cool, program it to work with other devices. You're the boss. You'll also receive a user manual and a pack of Machina stickers.

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    4 backers

    MJ v.01 Midi Controller Jacket Serialized Prototype with a DIY speaker package. Instead of throwing your packages out, use them as speakers, the DIY kit lets you create a cool looking and cool sounding speaker on your own. Additionally, includes four thermochromic t-shirts and the Obama poster.

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    The Midi Controller Jacket, a text of your choosing to the label of your jacket, an 8"x11" black and white Hand-Sketch of your choosing, by our eccentric Egyptian designer, four t-shirts, a DIY Speaker Package, and the Obama poster.

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    Midi Controller Jacket with your name printed in the label and you will be part of MACHINA's Autumn/Winter 2013 runway performing to an audience of 500 people including media, the location will be revealed February 28th, 2013. (Plane Ticket not included)

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    Add $50 USD to ship outside the US
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    3 backers Limited (2 left of 5)

    Package for Retail stores. Get 10 Midi controller Jackets. Be the first retailer to have the midi controller jacket on sale. You'll be the talk of the town.

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    All of the previous rewards (3 midi controller jackets, a poster, four t-shirts, the DIY speaker package, and the joystick hoodie) plus the original and signed Obama riding a T-Rex drawing. There's only one of these available. This is a collector's item.

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    THE WEARABLE MACHINES Workshop v1.0: Make your own wearable machine in a wearable technology workshop for up to 8 people. Includes all of the materials for the workshop, our tailor, our electronic engineer and one of our programmers. You'll learn how to build your own jacket to suit to your needs, and program it yourself. How to fully integrate the wearable technology. Given for three days, 5 hours each. Transportation costs outside of Mexico City must be provided by the buyer, but hotel will be paid by us. --

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Funding period

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