Here’s a fun way to make your clothes more interactive– you can turn a zipper into a switch for activating lights, sounds, and more using stainless steel conductive thread.
The switch works like a momentary pushbutton. As the zipper pull travels along the teeth, two pads of conductive thread are bridged, momentarily creating an electrical connection.
This connection can be sensed by a microcontroller like FLORA or GEMMA with an activated interal pullup resistor, or be used in place of a push button in circuits like the TV-B-Gone or audio FX boards.
The zipper switch is not delivering current, and should not be used to drive LEDs– it’s a very weak connection that is only made momentarily and not suitable for more than a few milliamps of current.
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, or even use Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for MakeCode, CircuitPython, 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.