- 4x 3V coin cell batteries
- 2 sheets of colored foam (for crafts)
- 4 LEDs – green and red
- 4 binder clips
- 2 sheets shrinky dink paper
How to make it:
- In order to make plastic emoji faces, draw them out on shrinky dink paper and put them in the oven for about two minutes. Let cool.
- Using the LED and 1 coin cell battery, make a circuit. To do so, ensure the long leg of the LED (the positive leg) is on the flat side of the coin cell battery (also positive).
- Then, cut a 2 inch strip of foam (just long and wide enough to cover the coin cell battery, but not cover up the LED).
- Wrap the coin cell battery in the foam, and clip into the binder clip.
- Now the circuit is complete and will not stop lighting until you remove the LED from it.
- Hot glue the shrinky dink emojis to the clip, being careful to avoid the battery or the the LED.
- Clip on the one that suits your mood, and enjoy!
After some rethinking, I thought using a tilt sensor in connection to the clips would round out the overall concept and also provide a more interactive aspect for the user. However, in doing a prototype mockup in which the tilt sensor was wired down the user’s arm from the clip on their shirt, the light could be turned on by raising an arm (whichever one was closer to the clip). Unfortunately, I felt the motion needed for this drew away from the original intended expression. Rather, it made it garner a little more attention. I felt this would accordingly draw outsiders in to view the two clips and ask questions, which was not at all in line with the concept of aiding non-verbal users in expressing whether or not they wanted to be approached.
These clips, while incredibly simplistic, allow nonverbal users (in varying degrees – this was made with people on the Autism spectrum or with Asperger’s in mind in particular) to express that they do not want to be approached, or that they do, clearly and in a very simple way. If it were to be sold, it could be very cheap – maybe just a few dollars per clip, given that each clip cost me probably around $3 each, at the most. I think that’s important. In creating a product intended to make people’s lives more accessible, I wanted a product that would be highly accessible in the market, and the simplicity of these clips is what allows this to fit the bill. Not only could they potentially be sold in a grocery store/market like Target or Safeway, but they could also likely be massed produced at low cost, so they could be purchased in bulk by a psychiatrist or doctor’s office to give out pairs to their patients.