Version 1

    Winning projects used the Adafruit FLORA platform to create the FLORAbrella and ColorCam


    October 21, 2013 – CHICAGO – element14 has chosen two winners from eight global finalists as part of its “Get Closer” Wearables Challenge, which invited engineers and hobbyists alike to design a wearable project using the Adafruit FLORA platform. The winners used the platform to develop a unique LED umbrella and a camera that can help children learn colors.


    Leslie Birch of Philadelphia developed an umbrella equipped with LED neopixel strips that change color. It has three modes: color match, which uses a color sensor to match colors; a rainbow display; and a simulated rainfall. You can watch a video of Leslie’s FLORAbrella here.


    Linda Kaspers of The Netherlands created ColorCam to help teach children colors. It also helps children learn the colors of various objects. When the user takes a picture of any one of Linda’s felt pictures, which depict a red strawberry or a yellow sun, for example, they are given three color choices on the back of the camera. One of the choices is the matching color, and a series of green lights appear if the correct color is selected. View video of Linda’s completed ColorCam here.


    “Watching the finalists’ projects evolve was fascinating, and we’re thrilled with what they were able to develop,” said Global Head of Community Dianne Kibbey. “While Linda and Leslie were selected as the winners, we believe every participant exhibited creativity, technical savvy and commitment throughout this Challenge, and we’d like to congratulate everyone on what they accomplished.”


    Other builds included a navigation glove, a family of suites comprised of colored strobe LED lights, and a GPS-equipped hat showing neopixel displays based on places visited, among others. “Get Closer” participants documented their progress through blog posts, videos and designs in the Arduino group within the element14 Community.


    Adafruit Director of Wearable Electronics Becky Stern added, “Our participation in the ‘Get Closer’ Challenge provided great opportunities to engage with makers, and it was an absolute pleasure to watch the journeys of the eight wearables projects.”


    A recent report from Berg Insight estimates that by 2017, companies will ship more than 64 million wearable technology devices, which represents exponential growth from this year’s 400,000 units. First-generation wearables such as the Pebble watch, Samsung Galaxy Gear and Google Glass have paved the way, and the FLORA provides a more accessible way for anyone to start creating their own wearable technology products.  Clothing that can recognize and relay the user’s location, environment or status will allow a wide variety of new industrial applications and personal well-being solutions. 


    As winners of the Challenge, Linda and Leslie will receive a handmade wearable electronics project by Adafruit.


    The Adafruit FLORA kits can be purchased in the U.S. from, in Europe from and in Asia Pacific from element14.


    element14 offers design engineers a space to share project concepts with 200,000 members in its award-winning element14 Community, the first of its kind. Additionally, the industry’s most comprehensive online knowledge resource for electronic design, the Knode on element14, is a first stop for any engineer undertaking a design project with a development kit.




    About element14

    Launched in June 2009, element14 is the first information portal, collaborative community and electronics store specifically built for electronic design engineers. The community recently unveiled its element14 knode, a unique automated platform that enables engineers to quickly research, design, develop and prototype in a single, intelligent environment. element14 is an innovative offering from Premier Farnell plc (LSE:pfl), FTSE 250, a leader in multi-channel electronics distribution trading throughout Europe (Farnell), the Americas (Newark) and Asia Pacific (element14). The company had group sales of £952m last year.


    For news updates from Premier Farnell visit:

    Premier Farnell News

    Twitter - @element14news; @element14





    Global Contact:

    Ken Leitch

    Global Head of PR

    Premier Farnell

    Tel: +44(0) 207 851 4145



    European Contact:

    Jen Cooke

    PR Manager, Europe and Global

    Tel: +44 (0) 113 279 0101



    EU PR Agency:

    Darren Willsher/Andrew Hill

    EML Wildfire

    Tel: +44 (0) 208 408 8000



    APAC Contact:

    Christina Loh

    Communications, APAC

    Tel: + 65 6671 8769



    North America Contact:

    William Polk

    PR and Social Media manager