This New High Tech Jacket Will Answer Your Calls #WearableWednesday
Can you spot the tech on this jacket? Hmm, the tab on that cuff looks a bit like plastic, right? This is the new Commuter jacket—a collaboration between Levis and Google, representing the best of all worlds, cotton and smart features. Spotted on engadget, the jacket is under the name Project Jacquard, which I reported on last year. Special conductive threads have been woven into the cuff area of the jacket, allowing for gesture controlled features which connect to your phone via Bluetooth. The jacket is due out in 2017, so the video is still a bit on the proto side.
The reason this is a big deal is that it represents a large scale manufacturing approach. The woven grid is made up of hybrid conductive thread which can be made in different colors. It can be easily incorporated into fabric and is washable and more robust, unlike typical electronics. The grid itself only needs to be a small patch, so real estate is small. Of course the benefit is that anyone wearing the jacket can control multiple button presses and playback on their phone by just connecting to the Bluetooth loop on the cuff. Sounds like a win-win to me. As with most wearable tech out there, the phone is still the star for communication and info gathering. Here’s what you can you hope to connect with through the jacket.
It’s fun to think of wearable projects that integrate Bluetooth connection; the question is how to make them possible on a DIY level. It just so happens that Adafruit has a BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) module meant for FLORA, the stitchable microcontroller. So, even if you aren’t a coder you can have some fun controlling lights, sounds and actions with your wearable through your phone. The learning guide will get you up-to-speed on how to use options like color picker, motion (like GPS, accelerometer etc.) and game control pad. If you are more advanced, you can create your own apps. Have fun learning how to connect!
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.