A gesture-reactive jacket that changes LED colors and patterns based on user positioning
Ermehgerd. I joined the Adafruit Show and Tell Google Hangout last night, and got to show off the prototype of the hoodie sleeve! My audio didn't work, so I had to play Maker Charades, but the demo was still successful! Here's the link, I'm at 17:36
Excuse me while I squeal like a fangirl.
Anyways, we have updated construction! I realized I was going about this in totally the wrong fashion, what with the snaps and the soldering. So here's a couple of lessons learned:
1. Soldering to snaps that are already sewn onto fabric is a Bad Idea. Now my sleeve has holes in it.
2. Practice what you teach. I already knew how to make wire leads into sewable components. I was just being stubborn.
So here's the new construction, which is probably also the final construction, because it doesn't short out and seems to take care of any responsiveness issues:
So as you can see, I've nixed the ribbon cable in favor of a set of silicon-coated stranded wire jumpers between the accelerometer and the Flora. The ends of the wires are stripped down about an inch, then coiled into small rings and stitched down with conductive thread, connecting them to the components. There's enough slack in the wires that they shouldn't pull loose while being worn, but not so much slack that they take up much extra space.
So that's Version 0.2 of the tech wizard hoodie sleeve. I still need to sew down a pocket for the battery, but otherwise I think it's pretty much ready to become part of an actual Hoodie!
So I'm trying to figure out the best way to connect the accelerometer to the Flora, and it's more difficult than I thought. Currently I have a cloth ribbon cable soldered to snaps that are sewn into the sleeve, connecting the contacts.
(Sorry for the blur)
I'm concerned about the snaps, to be honest, because they have to be squeezed pretty closely together... I can see a short happening pretty easily. I'm starting to wonder if it'll just be better to bite the bullet and use conductive thread down the length of the sleeve, even though it'll have a higher resistance than wire. Maybe it'll work if I double up the thread?
Here's a photo of the sleeve powered up and sort of working, though it's depressingly unreliable compared to version 0.1. Does anyone know if it's possible to upload video to a project? Do I just need to link to youtube? I'd like to show the sleeve in its full, functional glory once I get it working again.
Unfortunately, I forgot about taking pictures of Version 0.1 in action, but the code is finished and the construction is being tweaked. In version 0.1 of the hoodie, the Flora and Accelerometer were at the bottom of the sleeve, within the ring of LEDs. This wasn't ideal, because there was a big gap between lights, and because the Flora and battery assembly added a lot of extra weight which threw off the hanging fabric, and thus changed the accelerometer readings.
Version 0.2 has the accelerometer moved up to the elbow of the sleeve, where it'll be more directly aligned with the wearer's arm, rather than the wearer's hand. Silicone-coated wire snaps in to connect the accelerometer to the Flora, which should take care of any issues that would arise if conductive thread were used down the length of the sleeve instead.
I would add the Flora itself in near the elbow as well, but it's a pretty big board, and having it at such a narrow point would really make the sleeve lay strangely. So it looks like the wiring between the accelerometer and the main board is the way to go for now.