BB.Suit is a high-tech 3D-knitted onesie to demonstrate the potential of fashionable wearable technology. Photo by Wetzer and Berends.

A high-tech 3D-knitted onesie

The BB.Suit is about creating awareness of what wearable technology could mean for us in the future. We are surrounded by textiles every moment of our lives, imagine that it could be more than just a functional layer. The clothing we wear could help us in our everyday life as well as with solving environmental problems. By exploring the possibilities of combining circular knitting and the integration of technology into the fabric we enabled the onesies to have different functions, depending on the context that the project is placed.

BB.Suit 0.1: Access anywhere

BB.Suit v1 showcases a new way of 3D knitting by embedding copper yarns for connecting Wifi and GPS technology inside. The suit was tested during SXSW, a music and technology festival in Austin (USA). A model’s location was broadcasted on Google Maps and invited musicians to upload their tracks to a purpose-built website that uses the suit as a walking URL. The prototype was a success and helped to curate an eclectic playlist, but more importantly, it demonstrated how truly wearable technology could lead to vastly different user experiences. The shape of the 3D knitted garment is defined by the graphics, and contains pockets with space in the fabric to store the chips needed for the GPS, WIFI and future options. The two layers of cotton hide, protect and route the copper cables between the components.

BB.Suit 0.2: Pollution purified

Taking inspiration from Beijing’s air pollution issues, “BB Suit: Wearable Clean Air” is about raising awareness of what wearable technology can mean for us in the future. The unique functionality of this instance of the BB.Suit is the Cold Plasma technology and air quality measurement technology, both integrated into the fabric. Cold Plasma is a technology, which splits oxygen and water molecules into free radicals. These radicals react easily with toxic gases, bacteria, viruses and dust in order to clean the air. Since our clothing is constantly in contact with the air surrounding us it creates an opportunity to clean the polluted air. The integrated air quality sensor generates location-based data by measuring the concentration of Carbon Monoxide, Methane and LPG in the air. When combining this data from all the wearers, a precise analysis of the air quality can be made, enabling people to react more effective to the pollution.

  • Designers: Borre Akkersdijk, Martijn ten Bhömer, Eva de Laat
  • Partners: TU/e, byBorre, 22Tracks, Daan Spangenberg Graphics &
  • Students: Angeliki Sioliou, Rachel van Berlo, Orfeas Lyras, Camila Mosso Buron, Tim Scheffer & Anqi Li
  • Materials: Cotton, Bekinox conductive yarns, Elektrisola yarn, Ohmatex cable, GPS receiver, Carbon Monoxide sensor, Methane sensor, LPG sensor, Squair air purifier, WiFi module, Battery
  • Techniques: Knitting, Felting, Overlocking, Hand sewing, Soldering, 3D printing, Programming
  • My role in collaboration: Technology development, Integration of textile and technology & Interaction design
BB.Suit making process. Video by Luke Smits.
BB.Suit 0.1 enabled people to log-on to the Wifi hot-spot, when in the vicinity of the onesie.
BB.Suit 0.1 used GPS to show its location on an interactive map that could be accessed through the project website.
Press about BB.Suit (more information in the press section).
The shape of the onesie was knitted with the graphics and conductive elements integrated in the fabric. Photo by Borre Akkersdijk.
Overview of the sensors and air purification device. Infographic by Daan Spangenberg.
Combining the tools of technology and textile worlds. Photo by Benoit Florençon.
The sensors and purification device were integrated in the garment, the spacing in the thick fabric allowed the technology to be integrated.
Research about different air cleaning methods. Infographic by Daan Spangenberg.