For a while now, the tech world has been obsessed with “wearables” — smartwatches, body-monitoring wrist bands, Google Glass, and other devices that you can wear on your person to make technology more readily available. “Wearable tech,” it’s often called.
But some of the most interesting gadgetized accessories these days have an unusual twist: Their real function is to thwart or disabletechnology.
Call it the rise of wearable anti-tech.
These experiments, which range from the practical to the theatrical, all have one thing in common: They respond to the annoyances, incursions, and even threats of technology with clever technology jujitsu.
They represent the latest that technology has to offer to get rid of the latest that technology has to offer.
Sometimes it takes the form of a weapon in a more quotidian battle over technological control — as in the ridiculously appealing TV-B-Gone hoodie, which embeds a universal remote in a sweatshirt and uses conductive thread to turn a zipper into an off switch for irritating television sets.
That one is from Becky Stern, who among other things is director of wearable electronics at the endlessly impressive DIY-tech site Adafruit.
“As we lose agency over our devices (NSA spying, operating systems phoning home even in airplane mode, etc.), we’re seeing folks take DIY actions to reclaim ownership over their devices and privacy, sometimes as artistic and political statements too,” Stern told me.
“When you can’t trust your phone, but it becomes a necessary evil in your life, it makes a lot of sense that you’d want to have a way to take total control over it. This troubled relationship is very fertile ground for artists and hackers right now.”
As 2022 starts, let’s take some time to share our goals for CircuitPython in 2022. Just like past years (full summary 2019, 2020, and 2021), we’d like everyone in the CircuitPython community to contribute by posting their thoughts to some public place on the Internet. Here are a few ways to post: a video on YouTub, a post on the CircuitPython forum, a blog post on your site, a series of Tweets, a Gist on GitHub. We want to hear from you. When you post, please add #CircuitPython2022 and email firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know about your post so we can blog it up here.
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.
Have an amazing project to share? The Electronics Show and Tell is every Wednesday at 7pm ET! To join, head over to YouTube and check out the show’s live chat – we’ll post the link there.
Join us every Wednesday night at 8pm ET for Ask an Engineer!
Maker Business — Pololu’s account of the chip shortage
Wearables — Monster-inspired costuming!
Electronics — How to make your own magnetic field probe!
Python for Microcontrollers — Python on Microcontrollers Newsletter: New Releases of MicroPython and CircuitPython and more! #Python #CircuitPython @micropython @ThePSF
Adafruit IoT Monthly — 2021 in Recap!
Microsoft MakeCode — MakeCode Thank You!
EYE on NPI — Maxim’s Himalaya uSLIC Step-Down Power Module #EyeOnNPI @maximintegrated @digikey
New Products – Adafruit Industries – Makers, hackers, artists, designers and engineers! — New Products 1/19/22 Feat. Adafruit 7-Segment LED Matrix Backpack – STEMMA QT / qwiic!
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