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Wearable technologies


DATTA Big Wool Day Out, 22nd June 2017

Kathy Reid

BA/BSc MBA (Computing)

GitHub Kathy Reid headshot

@KathyReid on GitHub, Twitter, IRC, Slack etc


Current state of wearable technology

Today's hands-on exercise

(Rainbow LED bookmark)

Implications and considerations


Mostly gadgets that we wear as separate pieces

Attribution: Samsung Galaxy Gear vs Pebble smartwatch via Kārlis Dambrāns on Flickr.

Attribution: Arduino Lilypad Light scarf via Kathy Reid on Flickr.

Exercise - LED Bookmark

1. Kit components and what they do

2. How the components are connected

3. Construction techniques and tips


Battery and battery holder

(negative and positive terminals)

Conductive thread and sewing needle

Light emitting diodes (LEDs)

Fabrics and notions

Cotton canvas - easily see components, heat resistant

Sketching your project

Mark on fabric where the components and thread will go

Ensure circuit connects to correct terminals of battery and LED

- must join -, + must join +

Basic circuit diagram


Use three tight stitches on the terminal, and ensure a continuous line of stitching between the battery terminal (+) and LED terminal (+)

Ensure different lines of stitching do not overlap

(this is called a 'cross-connect' and will prevent the circuit from connecting)


Long runs

The voltage across long runs of conductive thread will be lower than short runs - LEDs further away from the battery will be dimmer

Multiple LEDs

The more LEDs you connect, the more voltage they will draw overall from the battery - and the LEDs may be dimmer.

Implications and considerations

What do you see as implications for wearables and wearable technology?

What ideas do you have for extension projects?

Thank you :-)

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