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Santa: Naughty or Nice?

For my final project for the Tech Crafts class at NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP), I was tasked with creating a project integrating soft-circuits. Being December with Christmas decorations all over and the trendiness of SantaCon, I decided to do a Santa suit. I focused down to two concepts: Steampunk Santa and sitting on Santa’s lap.

The steampunk idea would require a lot of detail work to fit into the Steampunk aesthetic. The actual circuit would be a steam producing backpack and a trigger mechanism.

The other idea around sitting on Santa’s lap had a much more concise theme that was easy to communicate: sit on Santa’s lap and it will tell you if you are naughty or nice. We had already researched conductive thread and conductive foam, so it was very straightforward to created the circuit:

  • Pressure sensor/force sensitive resistor (FSR): conductive foam + foil
  • Microprocessor: process input from FSR, control lighting/pocket indicators
  • Display/”Pockets”: LEDs, diffusive fiber filler, naughty/nice text in fancy script font
  • Conductive thread to connect everything, conductive button snaps to attach each piece to thread
  • Santa Suit

My role: sole contributor