Navigate NYC With This GPS Subway Dress #WearableWednesday


You know I’m still learning how to get around with NYC’s transportation, and that’s why I’m sooo in love with this project. It’s the Subway Dress designed by Boram Kim for the Interactive Telecommunications Program at NYU. As you can tell, the program is very hands-on and encourages some fun microcontroller work. Boram decided to pick a transportation dilemma for her project.

The concept of this dress is that depending on where the user is at, the GPS attached to the dress will locate the closest subway station and will light up the whole subway line. For example if the user is closest to Classon Ave. station, which is a G train, the whole G line will light up with green color.

As you might guess, green really represents the symbol for the G line, and the silver lines on the dress really represent the subway map–so awesome!

The dress is completely hand-made and I love that silver thread was stitched embroidery style to create the lines on both the front and back of the dress. Notice the nice tucks in the neckline which add some flair. It’s not clear how the dress closes, but it may use fasteners on the side or just slip over her head.


On the inside, you’ll find a bunch of Adafruit parts including a FLORA microcontroller with it’s matching GPS module. A NeoPixel strip was cut to create smaller pixels for the station lights, which were then wired and hot glued to the inside of the dress. A LiPo battery is tucked into an inside liner pocket; remember the liner helps to insure that the body won’t short the circuitry.


This is really an amazing piece and I’m pretty sure it will still be in my memory at the end of the year when I make my fave wearables list for 2015. Congrats, Boram, and just know that your extra details with the dress design and embroidery have really won my heart. For all you crafty people out there already thinking of what you might do with a GPS module, check out our tutorial for the FLORA GPS Jacket–it’s an easy way to learn how this all works. Now you just have to figure out what locations are helpful or possibly romantic in your life. I think once I get over my transportation quest I’ll be seeking out fabric stores in New York. Maybe that would be a patchwork dress representing the different stores? I don’t know, but it’s fun to start imagining!

Flora breadboard is Every Wednesday is Wearable Wednesday here at Adafruit! We’re bringing you the blinkiest, most fashionable, innovative, and useful wearables from around the web and in our own original projects featuring our wearable Arduino-compatible platform, FLORA. Be sure to post up your wearables projects in the forums or send us a link and you might be featured here on Wearable Wednesday!

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