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4 Posts authored by: Cabe Atwell


Are you addicted to social sites? Then you may want to steer clear of the ‘x.pose’ corset (via Behance)

Smart clothing is fast becoming the new trend in the fashion world. There are shoes that are able to charge mobile devices as you walk, LED dresses that changes colors as body temperatures rise and intelligent T-shirts that can remotely monitor the wearer’s vitals. Now we have a piece of clothing that becomes transparent, the more time you spend online, which may or may not be a bad thing depending on how you look at it, and look at it they will. Designed by Xuedi Chen and Pedro G.C. Oliveira, the aptly named 3D printed ‘x.pose’ corset with 20 individual hand-cut reactive displays that change opacity depending on how much data is used online.

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Mesh design (via Behance)

An integrated Arduino unit that accesses the mobile device via Bluetooth connection controls those 20 displays and an accompanying app monitors the data flow. As strange as it may sound, the corset is actually a political fashion statement meant to raise awareness on domestic spying as Google, Microsoft and every cellular company known to man has funneled personal information to the NSA. The premise is that those alphabet agencies know every facet of what we do online and are rendered ‘naked’ with nothing to hide. The corset itself is meant to represent a town and each reactive display represents a neighborhood in that town.

Once the location software identifies the area the wearer is, the corresponding display will begin pulsating and gradually lose opacity the more the wearer sends data. While the x.pose is indeed unique (in more ways than one), its unknown if the corset will ever be available for purchase. Still, it would definitely make a statement at any political demonstration or protest.


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Alina Balean and Rucha Patwardhan’s Smart Hoodie- The wearable text messenger.

The ubiquitous hoodie, typically worn by today’s youth, athletes and thug engineers everywhere. We usually don’t associate them with technology, however you will often find that those who ‘sport’ the garment often keep their cellphone in the front pocket. Since pocket space is very limited and therefore valuable, it only makes sense that two New York University graduate students would incorporate the cellphone into the hoodie itself.

That’s right, wearable computing in all of its glory. Alina Balean and Rucha Patwardhan designed their Smart Hoodie around an Arduino microcontroller combined with an Arduino GSM shield, which processes inputs from sensors sewn into the hoodies sleeves. The setup does not actually incorporate a cellphone into the mix but rather uses the Arduino to interpret gestures into pre-programmed text messages that are then sent wirelessly through the GSM shield. For example, if the wearer rolls up the left sleeve, it sends a text notification to a pre-programmed recipient. The same can be done for simply putting on the garment or rolling up the right sleeve as well.


While that might seem unremarkable for all intents and purposes, it is an ingenious first step in wearable computing that has a purpose other than being flashy (LED dresses anyone?). Sure sending text messages is mundane when using your thumbs but think of the ‘covert’ potential this has. Students could send pre-programmed answers to tests by incorporating a vibrational motor into the garment for multiple choice answers (first buzz the number then the letter).


Users could also alert family and friends of potential threats without the assailant knowing what’s going on. Soldiers could relay coded messages without giving away their location and backwater adventurers could alert first responders without the need of using their hands (they could be broken!). The possibilities are endless and users have the extra-added bonus of more pocket space to boot!



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Learn with Arno Shield... A where to begin complete learning platform (via Olympia Circuits)


As many people already know, the Arduino is a versatile platform. It is a great place to start when learning about embedded electronics, or a great stepping-stone to learning about electronics in general. However, some people still struggle to begin with the Arduino and may have difficulties building and connecting circuits for the first time. Peter Gould and Kevin Warner recognized this when they began selling Arduino boards at Maker Faires. As a result, they released what they called the Arno kit.


The Arno kit was basically an Arduino board with a bunch of electronic components integrated on to the same board. In addition, they wrote a book to help getting started with the Arno kit. Along with explaining how the electronics on the board worked it also covers over 40 example programs, all with details on what is going on with each line of code. Although the board was a great creation to creating accessible electronics for beginners, their book, Learning Arduino with the Arno, was a hit among many people and was extremely well written.


Now the creators have developed their next invention, the Arno Shield. The Arno shield takes a similar approach as the Arno kit did; however, instead of having a board with the Arduino processor and all the components together, they created a shield for Arduinos, which comes packed with components. Therefore, beginners can still work with the easy to use Arno board, but when the time comes to move on, they could just pop off the shield and begin to wire up their experiment.


Furthermore, since the shield features all the original components the kit had, they have also decided to include their book in a convenient package deal. The package will run for $60, but as they say, the knowledge gained can be priceless. The components featured on the board include: four green LEDs, one RGB LED, One infrared LED, two push button switches, a thumbwheel potentiometer, a piezobuzzer, a phototransistor, and a temperature sensor.


The world of electronics is now more accessible than ever. The Arduino introduced a great way to begin working with microcontrollers. On the other hand, some people who are interested in the Arduino may be hesitant to start due to the fact that they will be learning electronics, programming, and breadboarding all at the same time. For those people the Arno kit and shield is here for you. Along with a well written book, there is no better place to start and no more reasons to be intimidated.



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If you are an Arduino fan, then you most likely heard about this one. Arduino and Gameduino work in tandem to track up to 750 satellites at once. It displays the data on a screen similar to something out of a 1980's modern war film. Fitting so, the underlining tracking portion is based on the 1983 PLAN 13 algorithms, written by James Miller. (PLAN 13 is a 6270 line program available here.) The whole front/back end is written into  37KBps of user memory. Satellite is retained in the onboard 128KB EEPROM. The setup is designed by Pixar Animation Studio's Technical Director Mark VandeWettering, aka Brainwagon.


The project is named ANGST, The Arduino n' Gameduinio Satellite Tracker. VandeWettering plans of releasing the source code and schematics on github. I am mainly posting this to give a link to the files. As said in the video, someone else is planning to expand on the concept with tracking antenna hardware. I am hoping to see some thoughts and dev coming from the community.


When does an Arduino project become a sellable product?



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