If it feels like everyone already has an Apple watch or fitness tracker these days, know that it’s only the beginning for smart clothing. Case in point: the new exhibition, On You: Wearing Technology, at the Museum of Design Atlanta. Opening Sunday, and through October 2, the show documents the creation—and the challenges and the future—of wearable computers for consumers.
“In the past 10 years we’ve overcome a number of challenges, and we’re finally at a tipping point,” says Clint Zeagler, co-curator of On You and program manager of the Wearable Computing Center at the Georgia Institute of Technology, which sponsored the exhibition. “Our devices aren’t just collecting data, but engaging and interacting with it.”
For example, one piece on view, the PIXI dress, is made with 600 LED lights that display a range of colors, all of which can be changed in real time with the remote use of an app. “It’s one of my favorite pieces because it bridges the gap between computer science and design,” Zeagler says.
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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.