Many of us in wearables have a love-hate relationship with conductive thread. It is amazing for producing touchable, comfortable wearables, but it also has it’s limitations when covering longer distances. Resistance is the problem, and you often have to do workarounds like doubling the stitching or converting to wire to make sure you have power. Well, Michael Yang has developed a new microcontroller, KeKePad, that can bypass conductive thread with a system that uses cables, according to Make. The matching Ke Cables are 3-pin made with Teflon coated copper core wire, which is lightweight, durable and loved by the military. So, if you want to use Yang’s NeoPixels, the cable should be able to link them to the controller with no additional wiring needed. Of course, this won’t excuse you from sewing, you’ll still have to deal with concealing the cables, but regular matching thread should do the trick. So, what is gained is quick testing for new circuits, and less likelihood of having the conductive thread loosen over time. However, the microcontroller will be slightly thicker to allow for all the jacks.
KekePad has a lot of standard features like an Atmega 32u4 chip, on/off switch, reset button, micro USB and LED indicators. It’s Arduino compatible and once it gets produced there will be a bevy of matching sensors including UV, temp/humidity, sound and color. You can also expect matching NeoPixels including rings and sticks. If you can’t wait to get hold of all these goodies and you have a larger project, I highly recommend using our FLORA microcontroller with silicone wire. It’s easy to solder, lightweight and it’s also easily stitchable since it is thin. Did I mention it is my fave wire and it comes in 26 or 30 AWG? Sometimes I even let it show because it comes in fun colors. It’s all about options, and the beauty of tech is that there are always plenty out there. Have fun making!
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!