Wearable electronics

Many tech experts think that the next technology wave, beyond the smartphone will be the wearable device.  Fitness trackers have been around for a few years and have a reliable feature set. Smartwatches, running the Android or Apple operating systems have their early adopters, but sales have been less than stellar.  People complain about their bulk and limited feature set. They are often quite ugly. Wearables don’t have to come in an ugly watch form.  There are some interesting products that you can get right now, to participate in the wearable revolution. Various kinds of products are available now. For instance you can get a smartwatch in the form of a designer watch. You can get nice smartwatches now from Fossil, Kate Spade, Michael Kors  and Skagen.  These come in styles for both men and women and would be highly appropriate with business attire. Continue reading

Wearable OLED display powered with attiny85

Wearable electronics is commonly used in many areas. We are not talking about professional stuff like medical devices, but more hobby corner. But who knows where is a limit. Today anyone can assemble wearable projects with cheap building blocks that are mostly based on Arduino. AwesomePCB have shared his instructable on how to build a wearable OLED display covered with leather frame that blends pretty well on fabric. He used small SSD1306 128×64 OLED display which is connected to small Attiny85 Arduino compatible board. Coin cell battery is enough to power it for quite some time. He paid some attention to details on how display is attached to leather piece and how this piece is snapped to clothes. You can do many fun stuff with the display including a temperature monitoring by attaching thermometer, it simply do rudimentary activity tracker with accelerometer or display current your mood with smileys which can be changed with single button press. Continue reading

Great way of tracking and visualizing dancers movements

Wearable electronics is a potential field for amazing ideas. The following project of tracking ballet dancer with wearables was introduced as final degree project in Elisava 2014. Technical part of this beauty consists of Arduino Lilypad, pressure sensors and accelerometer that are attached to ballet dancer shoes. Everything had to be kept minimal and non intrusive so it wouldn’t restrict movement. A device reads sensor data and then sends to smart-phone via Bluetooth where it can be visualized in any convenient way. This way it can be represented as art, interesting data for analyzing movements and improving them. It also could be used to enhance live performance with graphical background imaging. Continue reading

Arduino based bracelet with OLEDs

Wearable electronics isn’t something new to us. There are plenty development boards specially designed for such applications. But seems that there is plenty of room for creativity in this area. Arduboy introduces his ardubracelet project, where he builds a bracelet out of small Arduino board and flexible circuit which caries not one, but three OLED screens. As you can see in demo, all three screens are linked as one allowing to play games like Tetris or use them as a watch. Controls on bracelet is done with touch senor pads. To make it complete there’s probably some polishing needed – 3D printing will fix this issue. Also there are promises of feature enhancements like Blue-tooth. Continue reading

Squareware mini board features chain-able LED matrix

Not long time ago we featured a SquareWare 2.0 wearable Arduino board. Now Ray has introduced another version of SquareWare Mini board which also features same Atmega328p microcontroller but is smaller in size and also packs few new features. In the feature list we can see push button, USB which can be used with V-USB library. Also buzzer, temperature sensor, light sensor, couple of MOSFETs and Lithium batter battery jack. In this mini version coin cell battery holder has been removed what allows to shrink board to smaller size. But probably most exciting feature is RGB LED matrix support which also can be chained in to larger display. You can find project details and software files in GitHub. Continue reading

SquareWear 2.0 – Feature rich wearable Arduino

Wearable electronics is very popular in various events, fashion shows and in daily use. We want it to me tiny robust and safe. Lets see what another open source Arduino based platform brings. It’s called SquareWare 2.0. Its a second generation project that packs lots of features that can be used right away. Since nobody wants to sew tons of separate boards on clothes, it already packs most thing you may need. Arduino runs on Atmega328 clocked at 12MHz and is powered from 3.3V that comes from MCP1700 low drop out regulator. It is powered from LiPo battery. Battery can be charged with built int charger based on MCP73831 chip. Powering and charging is done from mini-USB port. There is an MCP9700 temperature sensor, 10k photoresistor. Buzzer and color LED give some feedback. User can interact with one push button. If Arduino needs to drive high current loads (up to 250mA), there are three MOSFETs attached to three pins. Due to size constraints board doesnt have UART to USB converter chip. But this is solved by using software based V-USB… Continue reading