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This maker designed an interactive LED-lit dress inspired by Katniss Everdeen’s

Arduino TeamDecember 16th, 2021

Inspired by Katniss Everdeen’s burning dress from the Hunger Games series, Cindy Li set out to create her own version that uses fabric-attached LEDs to both simulate fire when movement is detected and illuminate in other ways when a certain button is pressed.

This light-up dress was based around two development boards: a Circuit Playground Bluefruit from Adafruit that handles the lights and an Arduino Nano RP2040 Connect, which connects to a sensor, some buttons, and a speaker for extra functionality. Li started building this project by sewing the Circuit Playground onto he fabric and then running a strip of individually addressable LEDs in an arch shape, with conductive thread tying it all together. Next, the Nano RP2040 Connect was wired to the speaker, buttons, and APDS-9960 sensor and placed within a custom-cut acrylic enclosure. Finally, another string of LEDs was wrapped around the bottom of the dress to act as the “fire” component. 

Once the hardware was finished being sewn onto the dress, licjn moved to the programming step. Her dress has three modes: color matching which uses the APDS-9960 to sense color and recreate it on the LEDs, an “alarm system” that turns the lights red when close to something, and the fiery transformation that senses when the user is spinning and displays an orange glow underneath. As a bonus, a simple tag game was implemented which can be played with flashlights and gives the wearer a certain number of “lives” before they lose. 

To see more regarding this interactive wearable project, you can read about it here on Instructables or watch Li’s demo below!