A shimmering ocean of solar panels looks cool in photographs, but to wear those panels on your clothes? Sounds pretty uncomfortable. Wearable tech has always been predicated on the fact that little bits of wire, glass and electronics have somehow been made comfortable enough to put on our bodies. But solar technology, despite whatever aesthetic and gadget-charging potential it may have, just hasn’t been that wearable.
Until now. Dutch designer Pauline van Dongen recently released an experimental line of clothes that harnesses the power of the sun to charge small gadgets like your phone. Enabling constant connectedness through your clothes is a feat in and of itself. But even better? You might actually want to wear these things.
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.
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