critter suit (2010)

Critter Shirt is a collaboration with Alicia Zink for a game prototype using wearable technology. The player, wearing a special shirt, is able to influence the movement of a critter on a screen through the movement of their arm.

The shirt acts as a replacement to the typical game controller. Similar to the Wiimote in function, but taking the experience of interaction one step further. The player swings their arms to make the critter walk. The faster they swing their arms, the faster the critter walks. By swinging their arms in an upward motion the player can make the critter jump. If the player keeps their arms still, the critter will go into an idle state where he stays in one place but fidgets.


The shirt consists of an Arduino Lilypad and two accelerometers (one on each wrist). These communicate with the computer wirelessly via a Bluetooth Mate. The data form the accelerometers is sent to Quartz Composer where they influence the movement of the critter. The electronics on the shirt are hidden by green fur to match the critter.

The game is a fairly simple one, and is aimed at children. It can be taken a lot further with the introduction of levels and goals, as well as a multiplayer mode, with different coloured and matching shirts.

This project was featured in Fashioning Technology.