Archive for the ‘Wearable Computing’ Category

PIXIE is an Arduino-based NeoPixel watch

Tuesday, September 20th, 2016

Not looking for a smartwatch? PIXIE is an Arduino-based NeoPixel wearable device that not only keeps time, but will also keep your geek cred intact.

You won’t find any numbers on this watch; instead, PIXIE uses LEDs to reveal the time–hours in blue, minutes in red, and seconds in green. Beyond that,  a capacitive touch switch on its strap will activate a flashlight mode.

In terms of electronics, PIXIE is equipped with an Arduino Pro Mini, an Adafruit NeoPixel Ring, a real-time clock module, a lithium-ion battery, and a few other components–all housed inside a simple cardboard box with a piece of transparent plexiglass. (more…)

This LED skirt will take your outfit to infinity and beyond

Tuesday, August 9th, 2016

Redditor SexyCyborg–who you may recall from her Hikaru Skirt last year–is back with another Arduino-driven, open-source wearable project. Inspired by traditional Chinese armor, the aptly named Infinity Skirt features an array of LED-lit mirror tiles that together form a flexible, reconfigurable matrix. Safe to say, she’ll certainly turn some heads at this October’s Maker Faire Shenzhen. (more…)

Kick the habit with a cigarette smoke-detecting shirt

Wednesday, July 27th, 2016

You’ve heard it before, smoking is bad for your health. However, despite the countless warnings, millions of people continue to use cigarettes–including 7th grade student Petter’s dad. Mindful of this, the young Maker came up with a new way to shame smokers into quitting.

The aptly named “Cigarette Smoke Detecting Shirt” consists of an Arduino LilyPad, a smoke sensor, and three LED sequins, all sewn into the t-shirt using conductive thread. When cigarette smoke is sensed, one of three different lights illuminate alongside a message to embarrass the wearer such as “stinky breath,” “yellow teeth,” or “lung cancer.” (more…)

Cosmic Bitcasting is a wearable radiation detector

Thursday, June 23rd, 2016

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Cosmic Bitcasting is a digital art and science project emerging from the idea of connecting the human body with the cosmos by creating a wearable device with embedded light, sound and vibration that will provide sensory information on the invisible cosmic radiation that surrounds us. This open-source project actually works by detecting secondary muons generated by cosmic rays hitting the Earth’s atmosphere that pass through the body.

Artist Afroditi Psarra and experimental physicist Cécile Lapoire worked together to develop a prototype of the wearable cosmic ray detector during a one-month residency at Etopia in Zaragoza, and is currently on display at the Etopia-Center for Art and Technology in Zaragoza as part of the exhibition REVERBERADAS. (more…)

Wear a connected hoodie that displays tweets and text

Wednesday, May 25th, 2016

Let’s face it, developers and programmers love their hoodies. That’s why last fall, a few members of the FirstBuild team built a connected sweatshirt capable of displaying text and tweets with a specific hashtag.

The hoodie is equipped with a Blend Micro board and a 16 x 32 LED matrix panel with a plastic overlay that’s sewn into a cutout on the front of the shirt. The system connects with a smartphone over Bluetooth to reveal the message, though in the future its creators hope to add animated GIFs. (more…)

Wearable device gives you an extra robotic hand

Wednesday, May 18th, 2016

Have you ever thought about what it’d be like to have a few extra fingers? Sang-won Leigh has, which is why he has developed programmable robotic joints that are worn around your wrist to instantly give you an extra pinky, a third thumb, or even another hand. These cyborg-like devices, called Robotic Symbionts, consist of 11 motors that can detect brain signals sent to the forearm’s brachioradialis muscle and rearrange themselves to suit different tasks. Since these muscles aren’t used to move your human hand, anyone can learn to employ their Robotic Symbiont fairly quick.

According to its paper, the motors are linked together using LEGO parts, each of them with a 180-degree motion range. Cables from each motor are connected to an Arduino. (more…)

Make your first wearable with Arduino Gemma

Thursday, June 18th, 2015

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Like the LilyPad Arduino boards, the Arduino Gemma is designed to create interactive projects you can wear. It can be sewn into clothing and other fabric with conductive thread and be connected to sensors and actuators.

After you explored the Getting Started page and learn how to move the first steps with it, it’s time to explore its features with a real project.

Becky Stern from Adafruit recently created a tutorial for making a vibrating mindfulness bracelet and learn the basics of wearables with Gemma! It’s like that “stand up every hour” feature you find on smart watches, but DIY. (more…)

Announcing a collaboration with Adafruit: Arduino Gemma

Saturday, October 4th, 2014
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Arduino Gemma preview – Final board coming late autumn

During his saturday morning presentation at Maker Faire Rome, Massimo Banzi gave a preview of a new collaboration and a new board: Adafruit Gemma becomes officially Arduino Gemma, a tiny but powerful wearable microcontroller board in a 27mm diameter package.

Powered by an Attiny85 and programmable with the Arduino IDE over USB, anyone will be able to easily create wearable projects with all the advantages of being part of the Arduino family. The board will be default-supported in the Arduino IDE, equipped with an on/off switch and a microUSB connector.

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Sew electric with Leah Buechley – Interview

Tuesday, February 4th, 2014

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Leah Buechley, the creator of the LilyPad Arduino and my former advisor, recently published a great new book based on that platform, together with Kanjun Qiu and Sonja de Boer. Sew Electric is a collection of DIY e-textile projects that introduce electronics and programming through textile crafts. The projects include a sparkling bracelet, a singing monster, a light-up bookmark, and a fabric piano. Through these activities, readers are introduced to the fundamentals of electronics and programming as well as craft and design practices. The projects are beautifully illustrated and the instructions are clear and detailed. This is a wonderful resource for showing potential uses of electronics and the Arduino platform, specifically in ways that appeal to audiences not traditionally associated with these technologies.

I was privileged to work with Leah for a number of years and am always impressed with her dedication, ideals, and accomplishments. Zoe and I put together this interview to ask Leah about the new book and her thoughts on technology:

How was the idea of the book born and what’s its main aim?

We want the book to get people excited about electronics and programming. We hope it will help people play, tinker, hack, and learn.

There are very few engineering resources that are appealing to young women and girls. We wanted to create an electronics introduction that looks and feels different from anything else that’s out there.

In terms of the history, my student Kanjun Qiu built a series of lovely LilyPad projects & wrote DIY tutorials for them for her master’s thesis. In collaboration with NCWIT (the National Center for Women and Information Technology), we tested the tutorials with kids and teachers and got lots of positive feedback. We decided to publish the series as a book and website to make them more visible and accessible. We’d like to connect to as many people as possible.

(more…)

Measuring pollution and health: wearable project wins a prize

Thursday, July 11th, 2013

Lead Inventor David Kuller wearing the winning Conscious ClothingTM prototype

My Air, My Health was the title of a Challenge calling innovators to work on a wearable project integrating air-quality measurement with heart rate and breathing.

The promoters of the challenge, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Institute of Environmental Health Services (NIH), launched it because they think that the possibility of understanding the relations between air pollution and people’s health in real-time could have an important impact in preventing disease and illness in the population. In the description you can read:

The required system design must be capable of linking air pollutant concentrations with physiological data, providing geocoded and time-stamped files in an easy to use format, and transmitting this data via existing networks to a central data repository. Due to the interdisciplinary nature of this challenge, solvers are highly encouraged to form teams drawing on multiple relevant expertise… (more…)

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