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February 1, 2017 AT 5:00 am

This Is the Wackiest Neopixel Tech Makeover Ever #WearableWednesday @RealSexyCyborg #Wearabletech @GALDEN999 @ikeay #DIY #gyaruden

Girl Power Japan

Luckily I follow Naomi Wu (@RealSexyCyborg) or I would have missed this exciting journey through Shibuya, Japan with an internet TV host getting a Neopixel makeover complete with Adafruit parts. Google translate is not the best, but I did manage to scrape up an explanation for this report at Abema TIMES. The engineer/host, Ayaka Ikezawa, visited “Gal Power” (GALDEN) to learn about their unusual art and wild fashion tech projects. GAL is a Japanese phenomena that mixes elements of American 90’s culture and these women have added technology making it glow.

They create hats and other garments that have spectacular bling to get attention. My favorite part is when the host solders her own earring at the workbench using a GEMMA microcontroller and Neopixel ring. I wish I had been there! In the end the host is transformed with a blonde wig and a crazy illuminated furry hat to match her dangling Neopixels. Although the women are seen as makers here, they also do performance art, which seems to poke fun at IoT. Here’s some more examples of their extravagant fashion tech, which they love to share on the street. They also do workshops to encourage women in tech.

Girl Power Bling

Girl Power Hat

Honestly, I haven’t seen this much glitter and metal since Jem and the Hollograms, which I loved. I had all the dolls from the show and I’m still really taken by the idea of being truly outrageous. So, thanks Naomi for introducing me to some great friends in Japan that may be even more outrageous than those characters. Here’s to more women learning how to solder, wild emojis and more party people hacking! Oh yes, and for anyone interested in making GEMMA Neopixel earrings, check out our tutorial. You can be Jem! Also, a special tip—if you are in Japan, make sure you go to the AkiParty August 6th that will be part of Maker Faire Tokyo. Wear your Neopixel earrings because I hear GALDEN will be in the house!

GEMMA Neopixel Earring


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