Sunday, 5 April 2015

Core Rope Memory

This is a project that's been brewing for a while. I'm not even sure where I first heard of Core Rope Memory, but it didn't take me long to think "that would make amazing jewellry".

Core Rope Memory is a type of read-only memory that was used in the Apollo Space Program. Each bead in the picture above is a ferrite core which interprets a bit on each of the the word line wires (green) that either pass through it (1) or go around it (0).

I'm using the same principle to encode text using embroidery thread and glass beads. It can't be read unless you're willing to painstakingly follow the embroidery threads, but I hope to eventually be able to make wearable jewellry that can be read to a screen.

The first prototypes are finally ready, and I'm super excited.

The bracelet I'm wearing encodes the phrase "for the benefit of all" -- the motto of NASA.

I have plans for improving the design, including hiding the back of the stitching with another ribbon on which I'll write the encoded phrase. I'll also be developing a necklace.

I hope to sell these as custom orders at Octocon this year, and they should be up on my Etsy shop as soon as I get that sorted out, but you could leave a comment if you're desperate to order one now :).

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