Watch This 3-D Jewelry Get Tailored With Light Projectiions

June 4, 2015 Updated: June 16, 2015

The machines are invading the fashion world.

From Google Glasses and Apple Watches to interactive “smart jeans,” technology, hitherto involved only in the manufacturing of clothing, is now invading the design and fitting process.

Designers at Madlab have created a modeling tool that projects light onto a person’s wrist, which can gather data for a 3-D printer to make tailored, ergonomic jewelry for the user.

The device, named Tactum, uses Microsoft Kinect to detect and track skin gestures so that the light projections can, just like analog material, be pushed, pulled, or pinched by human touch.

Tactum has already been used to make a watch band for the Moto 360 Smartwatch. The designers were able to pull a space between the digital projects, insert the watch there, and print the subsequent pattern that was a custom-fit for the user’s wrist.

Light modeling is a technology still in its early stages, and the response to touch is imprecise: the gestures need to be at least 20 mm wide, or jut over three quarters of an inch. A second prototype has been made that uses the Leap Motion Controller, a more robust motion sensor, for gesture detection.


One of the wider goals of the project is to empower everyday users to imagine, design, and create custom-made wearables and more, for themselves.

“Gesture-based interfaces for 3-D modeling … facilitate the expressive creation of digital geometry, while requiring little prerequisite skill for most interactions,” researchers involved in the project wrote in a technical paper.