Research : Smart Handbag

I noticed that my keys were always lost and it took everyday some time for searching for those. Usually my keys were already in my bag, but I had to at least double check that. I came up with the idea that the bag would tell me that the keys are already in the bag.

I was inpired of the shape and colors of the birch leaves. I chose felt material because it is easy to work with, it is insulating, won´t unravel and keeps its shape. It can be also decorated with needle felting. So it is good material for electronic textiles.

I chose very simple technology. Instead of using e.g. RFID I chose reed switch. When the keys are in the bag the leds inside of the felted balls light up. The keys include a small magnet and when the keys are placed into the pocket the reed switch turns on the leds.

The bag was tested with the users to have more insight from the bag. This research was made under the TechFashion project.

Pics from the user tests

The users liked the idea of the bag and they admitted to have same problems as I had with my keys. the After user tests we co-wrote the article about the bag with professor Jonna Häkkilä and it was accepted to the MindTrek 2018 conference. The article is published in the ACM Digital Library and you can find the whole poster in my website.

I made another bag where I considered the suggestions that came from the participants of the user tests. The newer bag is a bit bigger, not colourful and it tells with lights when your keys and wallet are in the bag.

The more I have presented the bag the more it seems that many people tend to have this same kind of problem of searching and double checking for the personal belongings. The feedbag has been really good and I´m going to continue the research of the smart handbags.

The bags were also presented in the TechFashion – Aesthetic Wearables exhibition in University of Lapland, 2018. It was organised by the TechFashion research project.

Later on I thought that something had bothered me after being involved with the smart handbag workshops and inspired me to make a working interactive prototype. I had participated earlier to workshop where I designed a concept bag and later I also facilitated one of these workshops. These were organised by the Naked Approach research project.

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