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Adafruit’s favorite open source wearables of 2015
Wearable electronics have exploded in the past year. Countless small devices are now on the market for not only fitness tracking, but posture improvement, sunscreen reminders, muscle-sensing gesture control, and much more. As technology on the body becomes more pervasive than ever, having open source tools for developing wearable technology is more important than ever, so that we can create the future of fashion tech while maintaining data privacy of biometric sensor data.
Here are two interesting wearable projects selected by Opensource.com as Best 2015 Wearable projects.
The FLORA wearable microcontroller got a hardware upgrade this year, adding a micro USB port and onboard programmable NeoPixel for prototyping color-changing, Arduino-compatible code before ever connecting it up with conductive thread or wire. 2015 also brought Getting Started with Adafruit FLORA, the beginner’s guide to wearable microcontroller projects.
The book covers the basics of the FLORA family of parts, tools, and techniques, and three projects to get you started, including textile switches, dance-activated lights, and a DIY GPS watch. There’s a FLORA Book Pack available with parts used in the book, and more for building the dozens of other open source FLORA tutorials available on the Adafruit Learning System.
FLORA’s not the only board that saw a makeover this year—its little sister GEMMA got a micro USB port and on/off switch and debuted its new blue cousin, the official Arduino GEMMA. This tiny board built around the ATtiny85 microcontroller can control NeoPixels, read simple sensors, and is small and low-cost enough to easily embed in wearables projects. While you can get GEMMA v2 in Adafruit or Arduino flavors, the official partnership provides native support for Arduino GEMMA in the Arduino software IDE, boxed packaging, and best of all supports Arduino.