[Cyborg] flexible EL in shoes

Sean Cusack sean.p.cusack at gmail.com
Tue Nov 9 16:17:01 UTC 2010

FYI Eric - its the 17th in the US too! Anyways, I have/had a tron v1 suit
that used EL as the base technology. It was pretty cool on a lot of levels,
but it just wasn't robust. It was difficult to wash (I had to do it by hand
in my bathtub to prevent it from kinking too badly), and in order to keep
the bend radius wide enough around the elbows and whatnot, the EL wire had
to come off the suit quite a ways. Also EL just ain't that bright. It looks
awesome in a dark room, but you just can't see it in daylight. Also, hiding
EL inverters in clothing is an interesting trick (I plan on trying to make a
soft circuit version of one of these soon btw to conquer that problem at

Although its totally awesome that this stuff conquers (sort of) some of the
washability problem, its a shame it doesn't fix the underlying brightness
problem, or the inverter problem. On a sidenote, I'm making a tron v2 suit
(using the new movie designs), but with silicone encapsulated LED strips as
the underlying tech (they look to be quite bendy and waterproof).

I've laser cut faux leather in the required patterns. This will get attached
to an old base layer I have from REI (really thin cotton/spandex that wicks
moisture like mad). and then am going to mount the silicone LED strips under
the leather, on the backside of the base layer (facing up towards the
leather). The kicker is, I'll have the LEDs slightly offset underneath the
leather bits, so you can't see the direct light of the LEDs, but you can see
the diffuse glow. I've tested this out (just yesterday), and as long as the
shirt is nip-hugging tight, this works great - the LED strips form to your
body, but also act as "risers", pushing the base shirt up from your skin
just a tad, thus creating a little pocket of air between your skin and the
shirt where you can get a sexy, diffuse, *bright*, glow.

I've got the laser work done now, so I'll probably be doing a fair amount of
the assembly at noisebridge. If anyone is interested in observing, lemme


On Nov 9, 2010 6:21 AM, "Eric Boyd" <mrericboyd at yahoo.com> wrote:


They look damn sharp, I'd love to have a pair.  Can't seem to find them
for sale though, must still be in product development.  Actually I found
a page which said they should be available when the movie is in
theatres, that's supposed to be Dec 17th (in Canada).

See also Janet Hansen's shoes:

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