Eyebeam’s Playable Fashion Now for Brooklyn Teens #WearableWednesday
When I think of that rare combination of art, tech and science, Eyebeam in Brooklyn is the first thing that pops into my mind. They’ve been doing this wonderful mashup with artists for years, and they often include chances for families and students to get involved. Case in point, they created Playable Fashion, a program which allows teens in area schools to experiment with gaming, coding and fashion. What does that combination of skills look like? Imagine a game of tea drinkers vs. coffee drinkers using glove controllers. Student Abel Orrellana, describes the warm beverage showdown:
The game is about the struggle between drinking coffee and tea. It is played by raising your pinky, simulating tea-drinking in order to fight off the people who drink coffee. The idea of the game originally started when we were first creating our glove controllers and we used bend sensors; I accidentally put it on the pinky instead of the index finger. That made me want to make the game’s mechanic of raising one’s pinky in order to proceed in the game. The game takes place in a town of people who enjoy drinking tea and being fancy invaded by people who value convenience and ease, drinking coffee. This causes the fancy people to flee, who then come back to take back their town.
The program offers opportunities to work with the Adafruit FLORA microcontroller for creating wearable interfaces, as well as Unity 3D, which is a popular game engine. The education is arranged in modules, including “Abstract Electronic Toys” and “Game Literacy”, with the goal of being on the empowering maker side rather than the consumer side. Erica Kermani, Director of Community Engagement at Eyebeam is a big fan.
Because teens use fashion and technology everyday already, with a bit of guidance they are eager to take control of their self-expression. Eyebeam’s unique combination of arts, design and technology can excite youth about career opportunities in STEAM.
Eyebeam’s Playable Fashion started out as an after-school program and has now grown into a city-wide series of workshops. Thanks to continued funding from Verizon and CapitalOne, it will be available in the Brooklyn area this year. So, if you know someone interested, have them check out this link. The leaders of the program are long time Eyebeam alum, Kaho Abe and Ramsey Nasser, who are superheroes in interdisciplinary tech. So, expect fun. If you want to get a jump on your wearables education, check out our book Getting Started with Adafruit FLORA. It’s easy to understand with lots of great pics, and you’ll learn how to sew and solder cool projects that blink and make sounds. What will your game controller look like? Get your glove ready!
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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.