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October 22, 2014 AT 5:00 am

LED Band Craze is Spreading #WearableWednesday

WearBracelet

Who doesn’t love LEDs on their wrist — especially when they can interact. This bracelet was one of the popular workshops at Wear It Berlin. So, expect to see some illuminated hands moving with the techno music at Berlin’s clubs. It really does work well for dancing since the LEDs react to audio levels with their brightness and to movement with their color. Wouldn’t it be great to see a whole bunch of people doing a line dance with this? Someone please send a photo! Speaking of photos, big thanks to Richard Gretzinger, Adlan Mansri and Michael Wittig for sparing me from using the photos on my phone.

The workshop was led by Morris Winkler, one of the founders of Open 3D Engineering. Morris is a software engineer with a love of 3D printing. In fact, he and his crew have just invented a new printer which was used to create the bracelets for the workshop.

WearMorris2

WearBracePrint

The circuit for the band is alive with Adafruit parts, including a Trinket, a FLORA Accelerometer/Compass Sensor, an AGC Electret Microphone Sensor, and some 60 LED NeoPixel Strip. The Trinket is tiny, and Morris did face a hurdle.

I realized that the available flash memory is quiet small, so adding functionality needs some skills in code squeezing.

Luckily, Morris happens to have such skills; he’s also not bad with spatial relations.

WearBraceParts
 

Although the workshop went well, it did take a day for people to get their bands assembled. Morris wishes there had been time for people to take the next step.

The interesting part is rather to think of a interactive design and how to relic that in an arduino sketch, but we never made it that far.

I remember my first Arduino class years ago, trying to make sense of breadboards, different electronic parts and the idea of something that was programmable. It was fun, but it was also a lot to take in. So, I believe a first attempt doing a bracelet involving soldering, sensors and programming to be quite amazing. A little happiness goes a long way.

WearBraceSmile

 

Morris has posted the supplies and code needed for his project here on Github. However, if you don’t have the capability to 3D print, you can still create your own simple LED band. Just follow the directions for our NeoPixel Punk Collar, but do it on a leather or vinyl band instead. Punk anything is so Berlin.


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