Becky Stewart has wowed us in the past with her Audio Scarf and now she’s wowing the world with her Music Festival Bag created at Midem’s Hack Day. Midem is a music festival, so this hackathon honors the love of music and brings together 30 hackers in Cannes, France for a showdown. Check out Becky’s blog for dets on the build and her hotel room’s view (#betterthanVR). Enough about the location, let’s get on with the cool bag! Her idea was to have something useful for concerts.
I was inspired by the start of the music festival season in the UK and made a bag for wandering between stages. The bag is embedded with LEDs that are controlled to relay information to the wearer without needing to look at their phone.
People are used to having LEDs for notifications like calls or emails, but what about something useful at a music festival, like letting you know when your next fave band is going on stage? No fumbling for your phone, just start running for the next stage location.
The coolest part about the bag is that it uses it’s decorations, the tassels and beading, for interaction. Becky is really a great explorer when it comes to conductive materials.
All the physical interactions with the bag use the tassels at the end of the drawstrings. Touch the pink tassel to the beadwork along the bottom of the bag to change the animation or to clear a notification and return to the animation. The blue tassel will send a message back to the phone. A potential use case would be if you ended up near a stage at a music festival and like what you heard, but didn’t know the artist, you could touch the blue tassel to the beadwork to tell a festival app on the phone to record the current GPS and time data to determine what artist in the schedule you heard. You could later refer back to that “bookmark” in the app.
Becky was lucky as she found a bag that already had a nice woven pattern and beads (that happened to be conductive). The parts she used for the hack include an Arduino Micro, Adafruit’s Bluefruit Breakout Board and a strand of WS2801 RGB LEDs. Since the bag has a busy motif, the bigger LEDs help to be noticeable. They also come pre-wired, so when the time crunch is on, they are ready to go. Becky had an easy time demonstrating the bag using her phone to light up the LEDs in various colors. That’s the Bluefruit magic, and if you want in, you need to check out our Bluefruit Breakout Board Guide. You’ll see how this little piece gives you the power of Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) so you can connect an Arduino to your phone. We’ve got some sample code ready for you, so start thinking of a project that would make your life easier. It’s fun to be the designer and decide what info you would like to display on a wearable.
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