I’m one of those people that always has cold hands, so this project Hands on Warm definitely has my interests at heart. Designer, Maria Julia Guimaraes created a glove prototype as a project for Concordia University, Canada that is especially designed for people that suffer from Raynaud’s Disease. Here is the focus of the project as stated on her blog:
Heating garments are already available on the market, but the differentiator to these gloves is the heating feature be responsible to the user needs. Generally heating garments have on/off buttons triggered by user when in need. However these triggers happen to late – turning on when user is already feeling cold, turning off when user is already overheated. What if the garment itself is able to predict the needs before user gets aware?
A neoprene wrap utilizes a LilyPad Arduino, a LilyPad Temperature Sensor and a heating pad. So, once a minimum temperature is reached, the pad kicks on to keep hands warm, and then switches off once the optimum temperature is achieved.
Another goal for the project was to have the tech appear more fashionable, so the glove has been through a few iterations to get it to the point where it is easy to slip on, yet still flexible. Stitchable microcontrollers are great for these situations. Once the electronic sleeve is wrapped on with velcro, it is covered with a textured knit fingerless glove in a neutral color that works with most outfits.
While working on the project, Maria won a grant from her university to help with funding, which hopefully has given her the encouragement to continue in wearable tech. One of the nice surprises I discovered in Maria’s documentation of the project was a mention of some code testing help from Make: Wearable Electronics by Kate Hartman. It’s a great book with interesting projects since Kate is fascinated by the role of wearables in non-verbal communication. So, if you are interested in pursuing some wearables, make sure you check it out in our shop. There are many practical ways electronics can help physical problems.
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