Eyebeam held five 2-day workshops in January 2014 on Playable Fashion taught by Kaho Abe and Ramsey Nasser & other professional game designers. Teens hacked a digital game and created a wearable game controller glove! Check out some photos of student projects on Facebook.
It looks like a child’s watch, but this open source wearable, named LEWE, measures biometrics according to Bits and Pieces from the Embedded Design World. This Arduino wristband looks bulky now, but it’s merely to facilitate explaining construction.
According to Boris Landoni of OpenElectronics, the goal of Project LEWE is to leverage available tech and create a low cost platform using sensors for data collection.
“[Ultimately, everything can be] integrated into a single board or two, in a more compact fashion that can be worn thanks to a special container with a wristband.”
The current iteration of the LEWE prototype currently supports at least five functions, including:
Measuring body temperature and sweat rate
Local display of recorded data
Relaying information to a smartphone app
Sending and storing data to the cloud
Organizing data in graph form for analysis
This wristband uses a variety of shields, which are rectangular, and also uses a digital readout. It would be very interesting to see a circular version that gives biometrics through visuals, rather than numerically. This could be done with a FLORA and a Neopixel Ring, similar to the FLORA NeoGeo Watch. A temperature sensor could be incorporated that would take a reading and send the results in the form of color, or amount of Neopixels lit on the ring. A heart rate sensor could also be used with results blinking the Neopixels. Sending information is definitely the tricky hurdle. Since most shields are bulky, it may be wise to figure out a method such as an SMS module, so information could be sent as a text message to a device. Whether you attempt to do this using a traditional Arduino, or create your own version, this is definitely an exciting challenge.
Canadian company Kiwi Wearables lists their new product as, “One device, many apps”. Considering this wearable can handle gestures, as well as tracking, it has the potential to draw in-depth conclusions about a person’s life. Here’s the detail on the tiny clip with multiple uses, as seen on Epoch Times.
Kiwi Move tracks your movement, steps, and climbing action. Take it to the gym, basketball court, or the baseball field. It provides insight in to your daily life, as stated on their blog site.
Much like the Star Trek communicator, it responds to gestures. You can create your own or use the built-in detection settings. Speak with your smart appliances and control them directly with Kiwi Move, or speak directly to the Internet.
The most interesting thing about this device, besides its tiny size, is its app. It is based on a “When/Do” logic. As an example: When I visit the grocery store, do update my budget. Of course, interesting correlations might exist between the time of day that you visit the store and what else is going on in your life. Ask anyone about working late hours and craving burritos. In a sense, this clip is allowing you to be mindful of what you are doing, when you are doing it. Even if you don’t immediately see the link between the activities, you have the opportunity to view them over time and discover what is driving them. Sounds like psychological genius, but it’s really the beauty of a micro-controller. More like this, please.
Becca McCharen’s fashion brand Chromat turned heads with their latest New York runway show replete with NeoPixels! The collection is not entirely safe for work, so click on the video with that in mind.
I’ve been geeking out on the details of the rollout of Disney’s massive $1.5BN MyMagic+ “next gen” guest experience. The center piece is the new RFID MagicBand. Based on several teardowns and the FCC documentation, there is apparently a passive RFID tag that is thought to be a Mifare Desfire EV1 with an encrypted portion of its 512k memory AND a battery-powered active RFID tag under that that can be read from a distance to trigger commemorative photos on rides and much more. The MagicBands are starting to appear on eBay for around $28.00 (Buy-It-Now), but as the program rolls out across the other parks throughout this year, I’m sure they will drop in price. I haven’t had a chance to try, but maybe the passive tag can be reprogrammed to work with Adafruit reader hardware? Makers have already started producing their own versions of the fabric covers that Disney sells. And it will just be a matter of time before someone comes up with 3D printable models of the snap-on MagicBand Band-Its.
The Verge has the latest on prosthetics that can actually enable the wearer to feel the object they are holding.
The latest bionic hand can do a lot more than just let its wearer hold things: it can actually let them feel. By hooking into nerves in an amputee’s arm, the new prosthetic can let a person tell how hard or soft an object is and even distinguish its basic shape. “The sensory feedback was incredible,” Dennis Sørensen, who wore the hand during its first trial, says in a statement…
“What was amazing in the subject was the possibility to get — very quickly, almost immediately — the ability to use this restored sense of modality in an effective way,” Micera tells The Verge. Though health regulations limited Sørensen’s trial to only a month, by the final week he was able to differentiate between three shapes with 88 percent accuracy and between the hardness of three objects with 78.7 percent accuracy. “It is very intuitive,” Micera says.
Using the bionic hand required Sørensen to have electrodes implanted in his arm, just above where it had been amputated nine years prior. Even though the nerves hadn’t been in use, the prosthetic was able to translate the bionic hand’s input into electrical signals that the nerves could understand.
During the test, Sørensen was asked to differentiate and handle six different objects. For testing hardness, he was given a piece of wood, a stack of plastic glasses, and a pack of cotton. To test how well the prosthetic could relay the feeling of different shapes and sizes, Sørensen was given a bottle, a baseball, and a mandarin orange. Being able to differentiate between objects and hardness also let Sørensen more effectively control how much force the bionic hand exerted while holding different materials.
Whether you love it or hate it, Valentine’s Day is coming! Here’s a little gift guide for the nerd who stole your heart. These projects and products are sure to light up their day and maybe even turn them on!
Ascii Heart <3 Necklace – Show that you <3 with this geeky necklace depicting an ASCII heart, like you'd see in email or text messages! The pieces are laser-cut in Sterling silver, then hand soldered to silver tubes that hang from the 20" curb chain. The necklace is polished and has a high-shine finish and is treated to reduce tarnishing. The pendant measures 1.5" square, and the two pieces dangle freely with a silver bead between them. This necklace makes a great gift for any special occasion, especially Valentine's Day or for anyone who needs more <3 in their life. Read more.
Heart Rate Badge – Build a badge to show the beat of your heart! This wearable project uses the Polar heart rate sensor, which you wear around your ribcage and it wirelessly transmits heart beats to the receiver chip included in our educational starter pack. The badge can be worn on your clothes or bag, and is held in place by a magnetic pin back. Make the heart-shaped NeoPixel version, or use one of our 8×8 LED matrices with i2c backpack to display your heart rate as a number or make your own bitmap animations. Read more.
Glitch Scarf by Glitchaus – Remember when your NES would suddenly decide to scramble mid game? Our very own Jeff Donaldson, is a glitch art pioneer and creator of notendo. He’s also a designer whose practice is based on these bugs and glitches, such as this comfy glitched out winter-wear. Read more.
iCufflinks – v1.1 – Sophisticated. Modern. Open Source. Gorgeously machined aluminum with a subtle pulsating LED. Perfect for Valentine’s day or for that geek who loves technology and needs to get dressed up for a special event. Welcome to the future! Read more.
Raspberry Pi Face Recognition Treasure Box – Face recognition is an exciting field of computer vision with many possible applications to hardware and devices. Using embedded platforms like the Raspberry Pi and open source computer vision libraries like OpenCV, you can now add face recognition to your own maker projects! In this project I’ll show you how to build a treasure box which unlocks itself using face recognition running on a Raspberry Pi. Read more.
USB Locket – USB flash drives are everywhere, and come in all shapes and sizes. But for something we carry with us every day, why can’t it be more like a personal fashion accessory? This guide will show you how to make a USB locket for carrying your files around your neck! Read more.
This smart shirt uses textile embedded sensors making workouts trackable according to Gizmag.
French company Cityzen Sciences has won the CES 2014 Inclusive Innovation in Everyday Health award for its development of a Smart Sensing fabric woven with integral micro-sensors – these add the practical benefit of monitoring the health and fatigue levels of the wearer.
The Smart Sensing fabric reads body heat, respiration rate, heart rate, and motion through location via GPS. “The fabric can be made into any clothing; gloves, shirts, pants, you name it,” said Gilbert Reveillon, Cityzen’s international managing director.
The new smart fabric combines sensors, fabric, distributed computation, and a small battery-powered transmitter into a unit that links in real time to a smartphone. The phone runs an app that stores and analyzes data from the fabric, showing if the person wearing the garment is tired, stressed, or in the path of an imminent heart attack. Obvious applications are for people who find themselves in extreme conditions, such as athletes, first responders, and soldiers.
The shirt can perform many tasks while on the body, but there is more in store while it is off the body.
Perhaps the cleverest part of Smart Sensing fabric is still under development. Cityzen is working on a recharging system for the fabric, that receives most of its energy when the clothing is washed. This is a perfect use for a motion-driven recharging system – can you think of a better environment for collecting mechanical energy than a washing machine?
Geri Forkner is usually in Tennessee creating felted and woven works of art, but she recently traveled to Thailand to lead an e-textile workshop with fashion design students at Rangsit University. Here are some details of the glowing scarves and more photos can be seen at Weaving School.
I do a wet felting technique that laminates wool fibers to a base cloth. To put it simply, the wool fibers penetrate lightweight silk chiffon with the addition of water, soap, and agitation, and in the process, change the color and texture of the silk. The wool shrinks and the silk doesn’t, so there are lots of possibilities for creating unusual shapes. There are many fibers available to slide conductive yarns through for invisible stitching and ways to create pockets to hide batteries.
I’m just learning how to use micro-controllers in my work, but for folks who have never heard of wearable tech, I’m making it as accessible and easy as possible. I’m telling them what’s available and hope they will take it from there. So, for the Rangsit workshop, we used contact paper as a “battery holder”. The latest stainless steel conductive thread works great, so all the students ended up with a working LED stitched to their scarf. I showed them a demo piece I made with a micro-controller to show what else is available. I had an issue with the Arduino when I set up my project in their art gallery, so I tracked down an electronics shop near the school that had one in stock with an adapter that worked for Thailand electricity. The folks at the shop also knew all about Raspberry Pi — two of the few words I know in Thai now are “red” and “hair”. One of the women at the shop apparently watches Lady Ada’s videos.
I’ve taught this basic felted scarf workshop many times and no two scarves ever come out the same. This time was no exception. The results were spectacular.
We’ve seen turn signal jackets, but like most things in tech, wearables are getting smaller. These turn signal gloves by Zackees allow lightweight illumination, as seen on siliconANGLE.
Zackees looks like any fingerless glove and it’s washable. What makes it different is the super bright LED lights that let others know where you’re going. The LED lights are activated by a metal contact switch placed between the thumb and index finger. To activate the turn signal, the metal contact switch must make contact. Though Zackees is intended for cyclists, it can also be used by runners and skaters.
With a little imagination, you can create your own gloves. A GEMMA micro-controller and Lipo battery could be used with some neopixels to form the signal for each glove. Then, conductive fabric with a bit of padding or two metal female snaps could be added in the thumb and finger area to activate the signals of the gloves. Have some fun and don’t forget to post your version!
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, 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!
Drawdio kit – Drawdio is an electronic pencil that lets you make music while you draw! It’s great project for beginners: An easy soldering kit with instant gratification. Essentially, its a very simple musical synthesizer that uses the conductive properties of pencil graphite to create different sounds. The result is a fun toy that lets you draw musical instruments on any piece of paper.
My MA thesis together with Volvo Technology in Sweden was about finding the possibilities for smart textile use in the automotive industry. There are many smart materials and technologies developed and available but not much of it has entered production. I was investigating the possible smart solutions for truck interiors which would help the driver to work and also spend leisure time in the cab. I was working with color change (thermo chromic) inks and light materials (LEDs and EL-wire). I created textile interfaces which communicated information to the driver and textiles which added comfort value into the small cab environment.
After graduation I travelled to Japan where I made an internship at Toyota Boshoku. I was working on a small city-car interior and created an illuminating textile for a headliner. I was able to produce smart textile materials at their factory on industrial weaving machines. This experience proved that it is possible to mass produce smart materials.