Wearable electronics fans, rejoice! Never has there been a more exciting year to delve into e-textiles and wearable computing. There are more big companies and kit makers in this space than every before, so here are my picks for the best gifts you can make and wear this holiday season:
FLORA GPS Starter Pack – Get started with the fabulous Adafruit Flora platform with this lovely starter kit. Included are plenty of parts to make a few different fun projects! There’s a Flora motherboard, a GPS module that can also perform location data logging, eight ultra-bright chainable RGB pixels, a battery holder and batteries, two types of our high quality stainless steel thread, alligator clips to help you test out your parts, a USB cable for reprogramming the Flora, and some parts to make a wearable remote control (or TV-B-Gone!): NPN transistors, long range IR LEDs, and matching resistors. Over $120 worth of goodies, for under $100.
Aniomagic Sparkle Kits – These kits contain parts necessary for an easy, low cost introduction to e-textiles. You get the Sparkle controller board, 4 sewable LEDs, some conductive thread, and a battery with little adhesive bits to make your own holder for it. Complete instructions finish the picture so even the least experienced electronics n00b can make a stunning e-textiles creation.
Stainless Thin Conductive Yarn / Thick Conductive Thread – This 316L stainless steel thread falls somewhere between a thick thread and a thin yarn. Because the thread is thick and has the ‘furry’ soft feel of yarn it won’t work well in sewing machines or for most e-textiles/wearables projects. However, the high conductivity and softness make it a great thread for making iPhone gloves!
Fitbit One Wireless Activity & Sleep Tracker – Like many out there, the Fitbit activity tracker gives you stats on your daily life – your stairs, steps, burned calories, and even sleep cycle are tracked. I like how the fitbit can be clipped in a variety of places like your pocket or bra, so you don’t have to wear it around your wrist. I found I was climbing between 30 and 40 flights per day, that is before I accidentally tossed fitbit in the wash (twice, actually… the first time, it survived).
iNecklace and iCufflinks – Sophisticated. Elegant. Open Source. The iNecklace and iCufflinks are made from gorgeously machined aluminum with subtle pulsating LEDs. Perfect for the playa or with Prada. This is a new type of product for Adafruit, we want to create wearable electronics that are subtle, classy and fun to wear.
The necklace pendant and cufflinks are CNC machined from the finest 6 series aluminum for durability and beauty. They feature a screw-in backing that allows easy access to the battery.
Bare Conductive Paint is a multipurpose electrically conductive material perfect for all of your DIY projects! Bare Paint is water based, nontoxic and dries at room temperature. Available in a cool paint pen, they work the same way as glitter glue pens, and are designed for people of all ages to explore electronics, and learn about circuit making using a handy, easy-to-use format.
Ascii Heart <3 Necklace – Show that you <3 with this geeky necklace depicting an ASCII heart, like you’d see in email or text messages! The pieces are laser-cut in Sterling silver, then hand soldered to silver tubes that hang from the 20″ curb chain. The necklace is polished and has a high-shine finish and is treated to reduce tarnishing. The pendant measures 1.5″ square, and the two pieces dangle freely with a silver bead between them. This necklace makes a great gift for any special occasion, especially Valentine’s Day or for anyone who needs more <3 in their life.
SquareWear is an open-source microcontroller board specially designed for wearable electronics projects. It is small in size, low-cost, simple to use, and provides an all-in-one solution for wearable electronics projects. It builds on Microchip’s PIC18F14k50 mcu, and comes with a few different colors and two battery options. The coin version has a built-in 20mm coin battery holder and measures 1.6″x1.7″ in size; the li-po version uses an external li-po battery and measures only 1.6″x1.6″ in size.
Transistor Man Shirt – Did you know that inside every transistor is a little man whose job it is to watch the incoming base current and adjust the collector-emitter impedance to match the datasheet? It’s true! And now you can celebrate this hard-working guy with this fabulous Transistor Man tee shirt.
The front of the shirt has the legendary Transistor Man diagram from Horowitz & Hill’s “The Art of Electronics”. Not only did we get a blessing to make these from Cambridge Press, we even got a scan of the original artwork transparency from Professor Horowitz! These are without a doubt, the coolest NPN shirts we’ve ever seen.
LilyPad Development Simple Protosnap Kit – The ProtoSnap series is a new way to prototype your project without a breadboard. Everything is wired together on a single board, which makes it easy to explore the possibilities of the components before snapping them apart and building them into your project.
The ProtoSnap LilyPad Simple Development board is a great way to get started in programmable e-textiles. By combining a LilyPad Simple board with four LED boards and a buzzer, the ProtoSnap LilyPad Simple Development board gives you everything you need to learn the basics. The kit also includes our LilyPad FTDI basic for programming the Simple board, conductive thread and needles and a Li-Po battery pack. The board also includes two pads to connect sensors using alligator clips (or use as a nifty touch-sensor).
Circuit board necktie “Resistor” – How can you resist? Impress any guy (or girl!): computer scientist, programmer, electrician, engineer or maker who is proud to wear his nerdiness as a badge of honor. Is dad, grandpa, boyfriend or husband a tinkerer with solder and blinky things? Perfect for groomsmen and bride’s boys of the geeky persuasion. Nerd power!
This tie features a print of a vintage circuit board patterns. This is the 7th in the series from Bethany “Toybreaker” Shorb, CEO of Cyberoptix, no circuit bored here. (ha!). We have covered Bethany’s amazing work on Adafruit for years, and now we’re excited to be carrying her designs.
Embroidered Speaker Kit – Hannah Perner-Wilson makes these charming kits with everything you need to embroider your own soft speaker coil!
Conductive Fiber – Stainless Steel 20um – This solid stainless-steel conductive fiber is super interesting! It’s great for felting and could also be spun into yarn if that’s your thing. We tested many different fiber thicknesses for needle felting and found that this one (20um fiber thickness, 316L steel, straight fiber) is the most pleasurable to work with. Use about 0.2g of the stuff to make a felt touch button suitable for use with the MaKey MaKey or capacitive touch sensing circuit. Make felt controllers or felt buttons onto an existing wool sweater!
Here are your 2012 shipping deadlines for ordering from Adafruit. Please review our shipping section if you have specific questions on how and where we ship worldwide for this holiday season.
UPS ground (USA orders): Place orders by Friday 11am ET – December 14, 2012 – Arrive by 12/24/2012 or sooner.
UPS 3-day (USA orders): Place orders by Wednesday 11am ET – December 19, 2012 – Arrive on 12/24/2012.
UPS 2-day (USA orders): Place orders by Thursday 11am ET – December 20, 2012 – Arrive on 12/24/2012.
UPS overnight (USA orders): Place orders by Friday 11am ET – December 21, 2012 – Arrive on 12/24/2012.
UPS International: Place orders by Monday 11am ET – December 17, 2012. Can take up extra time due to worldwide delays and customs. Should arrive by 12/24/2012 or sooner.
Please note: We do not offer Saturday service for UPS.
Tuesday, Dec. 25, 2012, Christmas, no UPS pickup or delivery service.
Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2013, New Year’s Day, no UPS pickup or delivery service.
United States Postal Service, First Class and Priority (USA orders): Place orders by Friday – December 14, 2012 – Arrive by 12/24/2012 or sooner.
USPS First class mail international (International orders): Place orders by Friday – November 23, 2012. Can take up to 30 days ore more with worldwide delays and customs. Should arrive by 12/24/2012 or sooner, but not a trackable service cannot be guaranteed to arrive by 12/24/12.
USPS Express mail international(International orders): Place orders by Friday – December 14, 2012. Can take up to 15 days or more with worldwide delays and customs. Should arrive by 12/24/2012 or sooner.
Gift Certificates are always available at any time.
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Maker Business — Happy CyberMonday ya’ll it’s #MakerBusiness
Wearables — From sign to helmet
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Biohacking — Heart & Brain SpikerShield
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