Hi everyone! I am very excited that I was chosen to one of the eight to compete in this wearable electronics challenge.

 

My proposed project is to create a glove that would help a user navigate to a pre-determined location. This could definitely be achieved by using a smart phone, but I like the idea of having a device that would point directly to your desired location, perhaps a little like the magic compass from Pirates of the Caribbean or similar objects from fiction. I also carry a lot of things in my pockets; my everyday carry list is still rather long because like being super-prepared for all kinds of different scenarios. Fumbling for my encased cell phone around the pocket knife, rubber eraser, and so on can be a hassle. I'd much rather have a garment of accessory I could check with minimal fuss and a cool, sleek appearance. Plus, this minimizes my chances of dropping my cell phone down a storm drain or subway track (thankfully this has not yet happened).

 

As I see it, my project has a few steps:

  1. Review and test parts - I'll verify that the electronics work and I will run the code from the Adafruit tutorials.
  2. LED Array - I'll take my first shot at sewing with stainless steel and build a circular, 8-NeoPixel array sized to fit in the palm of my hand
  3. Accelerometer - The accelerometer will be used to determine if I am holding my palm up or down AND to signal my LED array to turn on if I shake it hard enough.
  4. Compass - The magnetometer will be used while the LEDs are active to indicate my bearing, compensating for hand orientation
  5. GPS - The GPS unit will be used to help calculate initial bearings and possibly distance as well. I'll have to see how the device reacts to different orientations and fabrics.
  6. Physical Layout - I will have to figure out how to fit all of those goodies on the front and back of a glove (while not sacrificing wearability)
  7. User Experience - This is probably a good time to make the lighting pattern more interesting or informative, iron out bugs, test accuracy and a few failure modes.
  8. Sewing - This will be an intereesting experience, I hope that local fabric stores will allow me to test the light diffusion/transmission of different fabrics I will encase the finalized electronics in. I also have never sewn gloves before but look forward to practicing. A lot. I really want to make this look like a real/well-finished product.
  9. Light Balancing? - The Lux sensor might help me adjust the brightness level for appropriate day/nighttime use.
  10. Low Power? - If I have time, I will try to see if there are ways to reduce power consumption.
  11. Capacitive touch buttons? - If I have time, it would be nice to be able to change destinations.

 

Sadly, my FLORA has not yet arrived. I am anxiously awaiting its arrival so I can get started!

 

Please let me know what you think of my ideas and if you have any helpful tips (any master glove-makers out there?)!