MACHINA, a group of independent developers and designers living in Mexico, has created the Midi Controller Jacket ($285-$2600), an advanced functional yet fashionable wearble, that transmits music notes to a speaker based on the user’s movements and interactions with the jacket sensors.
[Insert sped up record rewind sound here]
This means beat makers with dancing skills, or dancers with a penchant for music making can create killer beats with the pop-and-lock of an arm. Potentiometers, four push buttons, a flex sensor, and a joy stick can be configured by the user through a mobile app.
Making music not really your gig? No worries, because their fully funded kickstarter video explains that MACHINA is also working on a HACKSTORE with open source code, where users can upload their own presets and programs to add more functionality to the jacket like mixing videos or interacting with a Kinect.
With a ton of other products under their belt, including thermochromic t-shirts (that remind us of this interesting Polar Ice Cap Shirt), MACHINA is definitely a group of wearables celebrities we’ll be looking out for.
Check out their demo video below for more information.
Google may have stolen the show (in our wearable opinion) at this year’s South by Southwest Conferences & Festivals when it unveiled the Talking Shoe. With the help of an interactive collective YesYesNo, and Studio 5050, a multidisciplinary design and strategy studio, the shoe offers words of encouragement (or disappointment) in response to user data received from an accelerometer, gyroscope and pressure sensors. This “conversation” can also be shared through Google+.
In it’s current state there are no practical uses for the shoe. In fact, it was developed as part of Google’s Art, Copy & Code, a collaborative project that partners with innovative types to help branding and marketing work better with the technology. Basically they are trying to figure out how to advertise in “cool” and “modern” ways while you’re trying to watch YouTube or skip lame songs on Pandora.
But there are clearly so many places this shoe can go. Strangely enough, the Webelow Wear Team, a motley crew of skateboarders, musicians and tech-geeks, were debating how cool it would be to have sensor laden sneakers and skateboard that when used together, would assist boarders on everything foot placement to busting a tre. Kind of like Skataviz by Design I/O but with more instruction for the user to accomplish tricks. And as a nod to Google, it could replicate the sounds of skaters smacking their boards when you successfully land a trick, and conversely, the sound of boards being broken when you failed 100 consecutive attempts.
Check out the video for the Talking Shoe below.
[Via All Things D]
The technology is similar to that of an access card you use to enter a secure location (your apartment, dorm, or office building). The difference being, instead touching your card on the receiver pad by the door, as long as the BodyCom mobile device is in your possession, you only need to touch the receiver pad with a body part.
Lucio Di Jasio, business development manager at MicroChip Technology, explained that BodyCom is already being used in different applications. “One customer has a bike helmet – the bike won’t start if you’re not wearing the helmet”, says Di Jasio.
The wearables industry recently got an incredible push in the right direction when Nature Communications published the work of researchers Yonggang Huang of Northwestern University and John A. Rogers of the University of Illinois.
Huang and Rogers led a research team to create a flexible lithium-ion battery that is stretchable up to 300 percent of it’s original size. This innovation is music to the wearables-world’s ears as the chunky footprint of a power source has has been a frustrating design hurdle. Using this battery, designers can consider a wider range of wearable designs since this battery can mold to the surface of a body (human/animal body part, the lining of a purse, etc.) and withstand the movement of that body (a running leg, a opened/closed purse, etc.).
Not only does this battery provides limitless design options, it charges wirelessly!
Interested in how it works? Check out Ben Coxworth of Gizmag for a great explanation. Visit Nature Communications for the full published study, and check out the video below for a demonstration of the batteries’ flexibility.
Today on Adafruit’s “Wearable Wednesdays” we learn how to make the LED Ampli-Tie with Flora. Using FLORA, the Electret Microphone Amplifier, Flora NeoPixels, and conductive thread, you can stand out in your next interview or stockholders meeting wearing a tie that lights up in reaction to sound.
You can check out the YouTube Video for step-by-step instructions.
Neon Nancy offers a variety of in-your-face wearables for the Electronic Dance Music (EDM) fan and dares you to dance.
The designers use very simple wearable technology, but tap an already huge market that grows every time a newly released pop song adds that fist-pumping sound you thought only came out of dark and sweaty rave clubs.
The Light Up Bra ($65 – $70) uses hand sewn EL wire, 2 AA batteries, and has 3 visual settings for a steady, blinking, or strobe light look.
The Sound Activated Light Up Bra ($80) takes the standard – if you can call it that – light up bra to a new level and supplements the bass throbbing music with your own personal coordinated light show.
And let’s not forget the fellas. There is a line of tanks and tees, but we are most interested in the Laser Reactive collection ($25.50 – $34). These shirts are covered in glow ink and allows the wearer to “write” a temporary message with the included LED pin light. You can check out their demo video here.
We will continue to watch for new Neon Nancy products and invite you to read their blog for all your EDM needs.
The news has been everywhere; Washington Post, Huffington Post, CNN, and even Esquire are talking about it. Clearly the media is raising their eyebrow at the agency’s dubious attempt to come back from their 1.3 billion dollar loss in the first quarter of 2013, and are even poking fun at the idea of tech-ed out Newmans walking around. Maybe this response explains why the USPS press release, many news sources are linking to, is giving us the good ol’ 404 (page not found error).
But as members of the wearables community we are always excited to see how wearables crossover to everyday fashion. The Wahconah Group, Inc. , a minority-owned company based in Cleveland, Ohio, will work with USPS to launch this all-weather line of apparel and accessories, called Rain Heat & Snow. Some functionality will include sweat-wicking fabrics and jackets that can sync up with MP3 players. We commend the agency for their segue into future fashion, and are curious to see what other technology they may use.
Today Wearable Electronic Wednesdays latest video features the Flora Lux Sensor ($7.95)
This digital light sensor can measure full spectrum light. This means, if included in your wearables project, it be programmed to react to light you see (human visible) and light you cannot see (infrared light). You can pick up this nifty piece of technology at Adafruit Industries and get some more details on YouTube.
As if speaking to the President wasn’t enough, Ladyada continues to live up to her goal of creating the best web based educational community for all ages and skill levels to learn and design electronics. With a YouTube Channel and Google+ Hangouts dedicated to demonstrating new products, answering questions about electronics, or giving you the viewer/blogger/maker/diyer an opportunity to participate in the classic show-and-tell, Ladyada makes learning fun, interactive and accessible. One of our favorites is of course Wearable Electronic Wednesdays where we get to learn about the latest wearable electronics and how to use it.
During the modern version of Roosevelt’s Fireside Chats, Ladyada, founder and CEO of Adafruit, had an opportunity to participate in a Google+ Hangout to ask President Obama a few questions. While she inquired on patent trolls and the status of the first daughters’ science and technology grades, her question regarding a computer programming language requirement struck us as brilliant. The President responded noting the self-taught Mark Zuckerburg and acknowledged that teaching programming in schools may help those potential Zucks to realize their dreams. We couldn’t agree more.
Check the video below for the full chat. Look for Ladyada around 5 minutes.