The 8th edition of DMY International Design Festival 2010 will kick off with a grand opening ceremony on June 9 and it’s looking wearable-tastic! With over 10,000 square meters of inspirational prototypes and new products by over 400 designers, the event will be an informative event for all enthusiasts. Those interested in wearbles can get an ear and handful with V2 labs’ V2_E-Textile Workspace. Participants will work with workshop leaders to learn the goals and key concepts of the field and build a simple soft interface into one of their own existing garments.
Well well well…this is very interesting. ThinkGeek has come out with yet another cool concept: The Proximity Sensing Shirts. These shirts work in pairs to scan one’s immediate area and within a few meters of the other user, will lock on and detect each other. While we don’t have all the spec’s we do know a proximity based radio frequency transmission/detection is being used. Very Bond.
We certainly appreciate the technology and application and will take notes for a similar project in progress over WW Labs: The Mona Lisa Art Installation.
Check out the ThinkGeek Locked ON -Proximity Sensing Shirts after the jump!
Sparkfun is crazy! We love the store and buy most of our prototyping stuff from them. We’re going to be able to build a Sparkfun cabin with all of the red boxes by the time we’re done with our various R&D projects.
They’re having a free day next month. Free day!
To us, this is equivalent to one of those Nickelodeon Toys-R-Us shopping sprees where you pile crap into a shopping cart for 60 seconds. I would be at home cursing my luck and cursing at the kid on the screen.
“Get the bluesmirf! You just passed the bluesmirf, damnit!”
Now we’re the ones behind the cart. Thank you, Sparkfun.
Head over to sparkfun.com for more details.
Well we decided to work with the triacs that came when we ordered the EL Escudo. After a long time of just not getting it and a trip to Cantina Marina, we were able to get the circuit going on the breadboard with three lights. So, we’re beyond prototyping with the Sparkfun boards and we’re making a breakout board. We’ll probably put the accelerometer on the breakout board along with the connections for the inverter, the lights and the microprocessor. It’s crazy but the only electronic components involved are three triacs and three 1k resistors.
It would be cool to actually print a board for this but since we’re lazy and very busy this week, we’ll just wire it, solder it and call it a day.
We have to give props to Mykle Hansen, the speed vest dude and the Mikey Sklar, the blinky bag guy who is a bit hardcore but helpful. We’ll be posting our own DIY instructions over the next couple of weeks.
We got our EL Escudo last week and put it to work right away. The first thing we learned was that the Barebones board doesn’t work with any standard Arduino shields out of the box because of differences in the pin-outs. I was being cheap and adventurous when I put together this BBB kit and it has served it’s purpose up until now. Sometimes, being cheap and adventurous only leads to more work in the end. Arduino shields are getting popular so keep that in mind when choosing a prototyping platform.
In order to get things going, we had to mate the pin-outs and power from the Arduino to the El Escudo. This wasn’t a huge deal to link +5v to +v and ground to any of the ground pins on the board. There is some significance to pin 10 in the code but we’re still working through that.
We used the CoolLight inverter Sparkfun suggested but we also bought a cheaper one to mess around with. The cheaper inverter has a 3v input rating and it doesn’t work as well for our applications. Even directly powering our panels with the smaller inverter from a 3v power source just doesn’t give the brightness that we want. The tiny inverter also heats up quickly.
Connecting the inverter to the board was very easy. There are 4 connections, 2 for inverter output and two for power. The 9v cables on the ends of the inverters make them easy to alligator clip or connect to a battery pack.
The example code and library is pretty basic. It all works around the basic on/off functionality of the lights. The pin constants are A-H with A starting at pin 2. We found that the EL_PULSE function is a good time-saver. We wrote some simple code to turn 3 lights on/off and delay. Everything seems to work fine except for the fading. That’s not a huge concern right now, so, we’ll revisit fading at another time.
Once everything worked (usb powered from BBB) we switched over to the lilypad with USB power. This worked well.
Overall we’re still very pleased with the outcome but we did by some triacs to take it further than the prototyping stage. The very funny part of this story is the other product they offered the same day -The EL Sequencer.
EL Escudo does sounds cooler than EL sequencer and has a cooler shape but honestly, this board is an all-in-one board and makes the other board look like a tire with no wheels. It has an ATmega168V chip onboard and it’s compatible with the Lilypad Arduino libraries. There is an additional LiPo power connection which makes a lot of sense. The only downside is that there is no array of inputs. There is only a footprint for a wireless board.
So, for prototyping and using a real Arduino, EL Escudo is better. For a finished product that already has a microprocessor on board, the EL Sequencer is a good choice. For the most flexibility, just use some triacs and make your own breakout board. Stay tuned for more on the breakout board.