Here is my final blog post in the element14/Adafruit "Get Closer" Wearables Challenge....

 

Let's wrap things up with a video!

 

I really can't thank element14 and Adafruit enough for including me in this amazing experience - I'll never forget it!

 

FLORA is a great product, I can definitely imagine embedding it in other projects. I am also anxious to try out GEMMA, an even lower profile microcontrollers that Adafruit just introduced.

 

I feel that I achieved a fair number of the goals I set for myself at the beginning of this challenge/RoadTest:

 

  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 interesting 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.

 

I will definitely be working on refining the navigation glove. I will be driving 900 miles two weekends from now, maybe this will be useful then! I'll do my best to keep you up to date on my progress.

 

Thanks again for following along with our progress as we developed our wearable electronics projects. I hope that I was at least mildly informative or at least entertaining. You have been a great audience, I really appreciate the feedback and help you gave me during the challenge.

 

[Edit: Added pictures!]

 

These past weeks have been a marathon of sewing. Pictured here is just a fraction of the aftermath. My living room is in need of some love.

Pile.JPG

There is a duct tape dummy (of my hand), broadcloth and sparkly denim patterns, black microsuede failure, black nylon failure, and grey stretch knit (more successful) prototypes.

 

Here are the brains of the project, secured to my denim backing. I am pleased with my stitches. This time.

Brains.JPG

 

Here they are installed on the back of my glove. You can see that I cut out the patch from the denim and basted/blanket stitched a piece of felt as padding. The weird pillow is then whip stitched to the knit fabric underglove.

Back.JPG

 

Here is the palm. The circular group of NeoPixels received a similar treatment. The felt is now padding AND light diffuser. You can also see the coiled stitches between the NeoPixel array and the back of the glove here. This allows the circuit to flex and stretch easily around my hand without making short circuits. The stitches are less neat because it was 2AM.

Palm.JPG

 

And here is a "perfectly lit" picture. Note that the outer glove conceals the magic underneath when the LEDs are off. Watch the video to see that somewhat less stunning effect.

Orienteering.JPG

Totally points North!