A nagging concern with wearable electronics is that one day everyone will be wearing nearly identical watches and pairs of glasses. That’s fine for something like a phone, which rests in your purse or on your desk, but the thing about wearables is that most are made to be seen.
When you put technology on your body, it is an undeniable fashion statement. Luckily, a small army of makers, crafters and tinkerers are re-imagining wearables as a medium for self-expression.
The team of DIY hackers at Adafruit Industries, for instance, has given birth to a wide array of hip, chip-enabled garments and gadgets. While other wearables come ready-to-wear with few options, Adafruit’s projects are tailor-made and offer a burst of individuality.
Mass-produced wearables are for “consumers of the technology,” said Becky Stern, the Director of Wearable Electronics at the west Manhattan-based company. “But our community is full of makers, who use our tutorials and parts to create their own wearables.”
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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.