Webelow Wear

Tag: Sparkfun

Wearables News Clips for Wednesday, June 26, 2013

by on Jun.26, 2013, under Wearables, Wearables News, Webelow Wear News Clips

Webelow Wear News ClipsIn today’s news clips we learn about a wearables project that knits your brainwaves, a wearables inspired product for your car, and that wearables retailers, SparkFun and Adafruit plan to discuss initiatives that help kids to learn electronics at an early age.

This Is Your Brain On Bach: Knitic’s Brainwaves Wearables

Knitting machine records brain states via an EEG headset to be converted into a knitting pattern for a scarf.

Knitting machine records brain states via an EEG headset to be converted into a knitting pattern for a scarf.

…Knitic is the collaborative project of artistic duo Varvara Guljajeva and Mar Canet, a pair who have existed in the fine line between art and tech since 2009. Their Arduino-hacked knitting machine records brain states via an EEG headset to be converted into a knitting pattern for a scarf. The wearer’s activity measurements of level of relaxation, excitement and cognitive load while listening to Bach’s “Goldberg Variations.” The resulting data yields a stiching pattern, which—in addition to being a great garment for chillier climates—also captures visually the unique act of listening. The team chose to bypass the electronic control of the Brother brand 930 knitting machine models opting for real-time control and modification of patterns by putting in their own arduino control system.

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Dash Is Like A “Fitbit” For Your Car

Dash like a "Fitbit for cars and aims to  help people drive more safely through real-time feedback.

Dash Labs …  is developing an on-board diagnostic reader that plugs into a car’s port (usually under the steering wheel); it can then track the car’s performance in real-time. The device, which connects to a smartphone app, can detect how many times you are too hard on the brakes, and when you’re speeding. It can even tell if the airbag has been deployed, after which it automatically notifies a pre-programmed emergency contact…Dash is still in beta, and has been tested on 300 different car models in the U.S., Canada, France and elsewhere, collecting some 15 million data points from drivers… The product showed its potential by already detecting problems with some drivers’ engines before the engine light went on.

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The Engadget Show 44: Education with Google, OPLC, Code.org, LeapFrong, SparkFun, Adafruit And More

Speakers at The Engadget Show to include wearable retailers SparkFun and Adafruit. Both will discuss initiatives they have implemented to help kids learn electronics at an early age.

Speakers at The Engadget Show to include wearable retailers SparkFun and Adafruit. Both will discuss initiatives they have implemented to help kids learn electronics at an early age.

It’s time to rethink the way our children learn. It’s all a bit overwhelming, attempting to restructure the age-old classroom model, particularly in a system as bogged down in bureaucratic red tape as education. This month, however, we packed up our things and toured the country to find out how educational institutions are adopting new models to help reinvent the learning process — rather than sitting idly by, waiting for the system to change around them. Naturally, technology is playing a huge role in that shift, moving from models of teaching to models of learning, where students can explore, express themselves and learn at their own speed.

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Tricked Out Arduino Watches

by on Jun.24, 2010, under DIY Wearables, Wearables, WW Wish List

Sparkfun Watches

This is wearable hotness.

Maker Faire  participant Matthew Garten has created two Arduino Watches using Sparkfun materials. The Steampunk theme is probably the  favorite, but the Biopunk theme watch covered in stingray skin (??!) is pretty awesome too.

Steampunk Sparkfun Watch

The watches use trackball control,  draw pictures, play games and connects to a glove with a myriad of sensors to collect a variety of data.

Temp. sensing glove attachment

Instructions can be found on Instructables and more information on Optimized Force.

We tip our hat to you Mr. Garten

Via [Sparkfun]

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Apple Goes Wearable

by on Mar.18, 2010, under Wearables

That Guy

That Guy.

Yes, Apple has crossed over and is looking far into the future with new Senior Prototype Engineer, Richard DeVaul on the payroll. After an angry fist shaking session, we took a step back and examined the situation. While DeVaul has taken our dream path straight to Jobs (ha…a job with Jobs), us Mom-and-Pop wearable shops needn’t fear the Walmart-ing of our companies and brands. This, ladies and gentlemen, could mean an industry boom for wearables.

Wearables, like every other industry, has it’s layers. There are the couture designers trying to make you Gaga-ed out, the  Ipod wearable helping people-on-the-go move to a beat, the rave-scene wearable, the kitschy wearables products for all wearbles geeks,  the DIY wearable upgrade to entertain the wearbles tinkerers, the biometrics wearables used in military and medicine,  practical wearables for mass use and the home based wearables.  Apple’s position in the industry?  Considering the I-everything (Ipod, Iphone etc.) craze and DeVaul’s background, we’re in for a long ride of very cool, user friendly wearables.  But remember, this is one section of a growing industry!

Our advice: stay positive, stay informed, keep innovating because the industry was just put on the map in big way.

Via [ComputerWorld]

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Zilog ePIR Sensors

by on Feb.04, 2010, under DIY Wearables


It’s here! The Zilog sensor is a  fully functional motion-detecting single-board computer.  It’s super small and somewhat low-profile. It has right-angle headers that won’t work well on a wearable project.  For now, let’s focus on the art installation. We’re teaming up with a group of artists and maker friends to put this on canvas. Check back frequently for more updates.

It’s R&D/design time!

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Mona Lisa made possible

by on Jan.13, 2010, under Wearables

Mona lisa rendition

Artist rendition of the Mona Lisa

They say that the Mona Lisa’s eyes fix on the observer at any angle as if by magic.  Like the famous da Vinci eyes, the desire to make this into a wearable piece has followed us obsessively for a year now.  We want to reproduce this magic using El panels, sensors and Arduino.

The ultimate plan is to have a shirt with motion detection input, an EL-panel array output and a kickass design that will use motion detection software to trigger the EL eyes to point in the direction of the last movement.

While we’re still a bit down on Sparkfun after getting stiffed on free day, they made a comeback in our hearts with this Zilog PIR (passive infrared – if you forgot) sensor with onboard processing chip.

Sparkfun Product page

This onboard chip has a serial interface that sends, amongst other things, direction data of the object being tracked.  We’re still looking at the datasheets but it looks like this 5/8″ x 1″ sensor will provide the size and functionality we need to make this design work as a wearable piece.

(continue reading…)

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by on Dec.04, 2009, under Wearables

sparkfun logo

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.

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EL Sequencer

by on Aug.11, 2009, under DIY Wearables

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.

Sparkfun EL Sequencer

Sparkfun 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.


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