Join Becky Stern and friends every week as we delve into the wonderful world of wearables, live on YouTube. We’ll answer your questions, announce a discount code for the Adafruit store, and explore wearable components, techniques, special materials, tools, and projects you can build at home! Ask your wearables questions in the comments, and if your question is featured on a future episode, you’ll be entered to win the show giveaway!
My niece is turning 15 and I thought she needed a more sophisticated/advanced present this year. What better way to show off her uniqueness than with a walking light show? LEDs were a hit recently in New York fashion too, so this fit perfect.
Google is looking for Android to be more widely adopted as a wearables development platform— The Verge writes:
Speaking today at the SXSW conference, Google’s SVP of Android and Chrome, Sundar Pichai, said that in two weeks, Google will be releasing a developer SDK that will make it easier for companies to create wearable devices that run on Android. Pichai didn’t drop any hints as to whether or not Google itself was working on any devices, but instead said that when it comes to wearables, he thinks about it “at a platform level.” That means that Google is focusing on the low-level operating-system hooks that are necessary for the sensors in a wearable device to talk to the Android operating system. Focusing on the “platform” is a clever way for Pichai to position Android as a real player in wearables without committing Google to building them itself.
Mascot costumes are often hot and sweaty, and mascots are expected to enthusiastically energize their teams. At FIRST robotics competitions, there are also traditions of dance parties during delays caused by technical difficulties, leading to even more activity in a warm, heavy costume than would normally be expected.
Cardinalbotics, an FRC team from San Francisco, made a mascot costume using an application of wearable electronics I had not considered before: cooling fans. The cardinal head was made of fabric sewn over shaped foam, with fans on the sides to keep everything cool inside.
Everyone dreams of having Batman’s gadgets, but no one really gives much thought to Bruce Wayne. Now, a new suit, “Diamond Armor“, combines high tech practicality and high-end charm so both can live in the same suit. SuitArt is the mastermind behind this super wearable tech, complete with super price tag, according to CNET.
The suit fabric is embedded with 880 black diamonds; the lapels and stitching feature an additional 600 black diamonds with a total weight of 140 carats; and the jacket buttons are made from steel embedded with even more black beauties — 280 to be precise.
Certainly the diamonds add class, but it’s the superhero side that really holds interest. The bullet proof feature offers Level 2 classification protection and is provided by Croshield, a specialist in armor and ballistic protective equipment.
According to the National Institutes of Justice, this level will protect the wearer from bullets fired from handguns ranging from 9mm pistols to .57 Magnums. Anything stronger than that coming at you, and it’s best to retreat back to the Batmobile.
This animation shows an example of Croshield’s body armor, which appears heavy duty.
The suit also has special features such as button controlled humidification, since even regular guys sweat. It’s also waterproof and soil resistant due to nanotechnology, which means Alfred can have the day off. Attending art events? You will be part of the show with a suit lining featuring artwork by Luciano Goizueta. Having problems deciding what to wear with this fancy suit? Accessories include a 24-carat gold woven tie and a limited edition diamond watch by Carl F. Bucherer.
It looks like this is a full package deal, and at $3.2 million, you may only need to buy once for the perfect suit. However, if you want something with superhero status and a lower price tag, you may want to build our Super Power Plant and be so Tony Stark.
Andy Modla sent in his great project- a LED fire tie!
Stay mentally warm this winter with a LED simulated fire in a tie. It was built with a 8×8 color LED matrix and an Arduino Pro Mini 5V/16MHz. The software is from http://forum.arduino.cc/index.php?topic=150881.0 written by giladaya. I modified it to use the Adafruit display.
Adafruit NeoPixel NeoMatrix 8×8 – 64 RGB LED Pixel Matrix – Put on your sunglasses before wiring up this LED matrix – 64 eye-blistering RGB LEDs adorn the NeoMatrix for a blast of configurable color. Arranged in an 8×8 matrix, each pixel is individually addressable. Only one microcontroller pin is required to control all the LEDs, and you get 24 bit color for each LED. Read more.
This shirt is ready for musical adventure. With its different colors and patterns, Lucas Morgan has created a masterpiece for festival wear using Arduino. This is his final video of the shirt, but other videos on YouTube show the learning curve he faced in creating it. For instance, rather than stitching the EL wire, he ended up using a strong fabric glue. Battery packs were made from unused inverters, and he sandwiched them so they would be mobile.
According to Lucas, future plans for this shirt include creating a 3D printed case to hold everything compactly. Then, he’ll be showing off his maker magic at festivals like Wakarusa, Bonnaroo, EDC Vegas and Electric Forest. So, get ready to snap some pics, or better yet, make your own EL Wire creation. We’ve got a great EL Wire Starter Pack and a TRON Hoodie tutorial ready to go.
The Unseen is an “exploration house” based out of England and they’re doing some really cool things with biological and chemical matter in materials. This is one of their designs: a leather jacket that changes color when the wind blows on it. Check out their awesome site for more on their art, design, and performances.
This season T H E U N S E E N has developed a form of wind reactive ink that changes colour upon contact with the air around us. Intended to reveal the otherwise unseen turbulence surrounding the human as it goes about its environment.
Our latest material has been prepared into a couture capsule collection launching T H E U N S E E N that
includes an exclusive piece supported by SWAROVSKI GEMSTONES. Exhibited as an interactive performance to coincide with London Fashion week, in the Dead House beneath Somerset house together with Hendricks Gin.
T H E U N S E E N shared for the first time the house vision of science meets design. Opening eyes to a new world of material.
We’ve seen LED’s in umbrellas, but now there’s speakers in umbrellas. This frame holds 10 mini speakers for a unique sound experience according to PSFK. Crafted by Dmitry Morozov, “Anywhere” has the potential to make a rainy day into a fun jaunt.
It’s an early stage design that experiments with the different ways that a personal sound system could be integrated into everyday objects. The device uses optical relays, an Arduino Uno microcontroller, and a micro SD wav player to tie everything together.
So far many wearables tend to be awkward. Once clad in waterproof material, this umbrella could combine the experience of a walkman with the grace of a rain protector. Then, the bigger question will be how people handle the busy sidewalks. Perhaps an app will work Pandora style to analyze the umbrellas around you so you can align with the music you enjoy. It’s a curious problem, but it could lead to some interesting artistic projects, including a concert of umbrellas. Speaking of projects, you can add some vibes to your favorite everyday object with an Arduino. Just check out our tutorial on the Wave Shield.
Remember those rubber wristbands that were everywhere a couple years ago? Well they might be making a comeback and this time they’ll serve as more than a statement on which charity you support. Scientific American has the story.
Researchers at Oregon State University outfitted volunteers with slightly modified silicone bracelets and then tested them for 1,200 substances. They detected several dozen compounds – everything from caffeine and cigarette smoke to flame retardants and pesticides.
“We were surprised at the breadth of chemicals,” said Kim Anderson, a professor and chemist who was senior author of the study published in Environmental Science & Technology….
Silicone is porous and acts similar to human cells, so once chemicals are absorbed by the wristband, “they don’t want to go back to the water or the air,” Anderson said.
“This study offers some real possibilities to address the weak link in epidemiological studies – which is the exposure science,” said Ted Schettler, science director at the Science and Environmental Health Network, a nonprofit environmental health advocacy organization.
The bracelets “can identify both chemicals and mixtures, and this could easily be applied to larger groups to see which compounds are showing up most commonly,” he said.
Thirty volunteers wore the orange and white Oregon State wristbands for 30 days. Forty-nine compounds were found in them, including flame retardants, indoor pesticides such as pet flea medications, caffeine, nicotine and various chemicals used in cosmetics and fragrances.
This is one of the coolest prosthetics we’ve seen- a robotic arm that actually improves the drumming skills of the wearer. Via CNET.
When drummer Jason Barnes lost his lower right arm to electrocution two years ago, his future as a musician didn’t look too promising. But thanks to a new robotic arm invented by Professor Gil Weinberg, founding director of the Georgia Tech Center for Music Technology, he may soon be the envy of the drumming world.
That’s because the new mechanical arm effectively gives Barnes the ability to use three different drumsticks while playing his kit. He holds the first in his left hand, as always. The other two are held by the robotic arm attached to Barnes’ right bicep. One of those sticks is controlled by the up-and-down motion of Barnes’ arm, as well as electrical impulses from his body measured by electromyography muscle sensors.
The other stick however, analyzes the rhythm being played and uses a built-in motor to improvise on its own, adding a dimension to drumming that’s heretofore not seen on any stage we know of.
“The second drumstick has a mind of its own,” Weinberg said in a statement. “The drummer essentially becomes a cyborg. It’s interesting to see him playing and improvising with part of his arm that he doesn’t totally control.”
Barnes finds it more than interesting. “I’ll bet a lot of metal drummers might be jealous of what I can do now,” he said. “Speed is good. Faster is always better,” he said, referring to the fact that the autonomous stick can move more quickly than humanly possible.
NeoPixel Ring – 16 x WS2812 5050 RGB LED with Integrated Drivers: Round and round and round they go! 16 ultra bright smart LED NeoPixels are arranged in a circle with 1.75″ (44.5mm) outer diameter. The rings are ‘chainable’ – connect the output pin of one to the input pin of another. Use only one microcontroller pin to control as many as you can chain together! Each LED is addressable as the driver chip is inside the LED. Each one has ~18mA constant current drive so the color will be very consistent even if the voltage varies, and no external choke resistors are required making the design slim. Power the whole thing with 5VDC (4-7V works) and you’re ready to rock. (read more)
Every Thursday is #3dthursday here at Adafruit! The DIY 3D printing community has passion and dedication for making solid objects from digital models. Recently, we have noticed electronics projects integrated with 3D printed enclosures, brackets, and sculptures, so each Thursday we celebrate and highlight these bold pioneers!
Have you considered building a 3D project around an Arduino or other microcontroller? How about printing a bracket to mount your Raspberry Pi to the back of your HD monitor? And don’t forget the countless LED projects that are possible when you are modeling your projects in 3D!
The Adafruit Learning System has dozens of great tools to get you well on your way to creating incredible works of engineering, interactive art, and design with your 3D printer! If you’ve made a cool project that combines 3D printing and electronics, be sure to let us know, and we’ll feature it here!