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:
- Review and test parts - I'll verify that the electronics work and I will run the code from the Adafruit tutorials.
- 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
- 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.
- Compass - The magnetometer will be used while the LEDs are active to indicate my bearing, compensating for hand orientation
- 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.
- 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)
- 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.
- 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.
- Light Balancing? - The Lux sensor might help me adjust the brightness level for appropriate day/nighttime use.
- Low Power? - If I have time, I will try to see if there are ways to reduce power consumption.
- 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?)!