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These Sneakers Will Make You the Master of Beats #WearableWednesday #Wearabletech @push_reset

This is such a fun project that I’m already dancing without shoes! Lara Grant has hacked sneakers so they play beats from different areas of the soles wirelessly through a computer. So, whether it be the toe, ball or heel, you can get any party started—external speakers are a bonus. This is considered a beginner/intermediate project and you can check out Lara’s detailed directions on Instructables. Here are some highlights from this awesome project.

Sneaker Beats

The secret to the sneakers is the Adafruit Feather Bluefruit LE, which allows bluetooth connectivity to the computer for the sound. Samples are mapped using free Soundplant software. The other secret is soft textile switches which are developed in three areas of the shoe’s sole. Basically a new sole of veggie tanned leather is created and attached to the bottom of the shoe to house these switches. You may wonder why they weren’t placed in the insole and Lara has the answer:

“It turns out the actual sole of the shoe is a needed barrier between the switches and the force of the foot.”

Sneaker Textile Switches

Many of the lessons learned in this project came from Lara’s real life testing with prototypes on dancers. It enabled her to understand best placement for the textile switches and it also revealed the need for a manual switch to disarm one of the sensors during idle time. It may take longer to go through this process, but the finished product is well worth it.

So, are you fascinated by textile switches? They can make wearables a lot more comfortable and allow you to trigger different actions like lights, sounds and keyboard movements. Check out our learning guide for a Plush Game Controller for a great example of how you can turn conductive fabric into soft buttons. Who needs plastic buttons anyway!


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