Ryan Maksymic
Cover.jpg

Light Scarf

Light Scarf

A prototype wearable embedded with LEDs, controllable via BLE-connected app

#wearables  #hardware  #light  #BluetoothLE  #software  #mobile  #iOS  #Xcode  #ObjectiveC

 
 

OBJECTIVE

My colleague and I were tasked with creating a prototype for a "smart scarf" – an elegant garment with a subtle glow that could be controlled via smartphone. I was responsible for designing the hardware as well as programming the iOS application.

Process

We first tested the conductive fabric, getting a sense of how durable it was and devising best practices for working with it. The LightBlue Bean, a Bluetooth LE prototyping device, was selected as our microcontroller, and its limitations were tested.

The scarf's pattern was designed and laser cut. This was a difficult process, as the sections of conductive fabric were indeed part of multiple parallel circuits, and shorting needed to be avoided at all costs.

An enclosure for the hardware was designed and 3D printed, and the electronics were installed. Snap buttons were used to connect wires to conductive fabric. I created a basic iOS app using the LightBlue Bean SDK.

DESIGN

The scarf's intricate pattern is made of conductive fabric, which also serves to power the LEDs. Bluetooth LE connectivity is made possible using the LightBlue Bean microcontroller. Through the app, users can select the brightness of the LEDs or make them twinkle, fade, or blink in a pattern. The scarf is powered by a lithium ion battery that can be recharged via USB.

Collaborators

The Light Scarf was made in collaboration with Long Gao.