Hats with Sunblock Reminders are Easy to Make

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Just about anyone can build this UV index sensing wearable that detects heat rays from the sun and reminds the user to put on sunscreen. There is no soldering required, which makes this a nice beginners projects for those unfamiliar with hooking up electronic sensors.

All that is needed is a FLORA main board, one UV index sensor, a piezo Buzzer, a 500mAh lipoly battery, 2-ply conductive thread, a couple of household tools, and your favorite summer’s hat.

Once the materials have been rounded up, the rest of the process is relatively simple. Threading the FLORA in and place and connecting the Piezo only takes a few minutes. Then the UV sensor is added allowing the hat to start collecting data. A little bit of coding later, and the whole system is ready to be worn out in the sun.

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What’s great about this project is that the hat can be programmed to play a song when it is time to apply more sunscreen. Everyone from beach bums, to sun-bathing beauties, to music festival attendees will be able to find this hat useful. And, it is cheap and easy to make.

The video on the Adafruit tutorial page shows how simple it is to rig up the system.

Comments

  1. whitequark says:

    Should’ve added BLE and an iPhone app.

    A hat that requires charging, may or may not catch fire on your head after contact with water, and raises oh-so-intense scrutiny from airplane security. Oh, and it promotes the silly trend of putting generic electronics barely solving the problem at hand into everything you see. Wonderful.

    I think the most elegant solution here would be in the field of materials. UV is rather high-energy–thus easy to detect; there is plenty of UV-sensitive stuff you could easily find. I couldn’t yet think of a way to put it onto a hat, though.

    • Mike Szczys says:

      Rather than breaking it down I’m capable of seeing this as a good start and building it up.

      The whole point is that you wear it in the sun. It takes UV samples over long periods. Sounds perfect for a small PV panel, supercap, and uC programmed to sleep most of the time.

      Anyone have some free time to hammer that out this weekend?

      • tekkieneet says:

        On the same line, you could simply use a Beam Solar bot – essentially a solar cell + super cap + a voltage detector and usually a motor. http://makezine.com/projects/beam-solar-chariots/

        The solar cell + supercap acts like an integrator. So stronger sunlight = charges faster.
        Once it hits a voltage threshold, the transistors turns on and you can drive a load. e.g. a buzzer or pager motor. No uP nor batteries required.

  2. aegjio says:

    tl;dr by more overpriced adaf**k crap.

  3. whitequark says:

    Measuring radiation exposure? That’s been solved long ago, in a beautifully simple way: a strip dipped in radiation (UV in our case, but gamma originally) sensitive solution that turns black when it’s over limit. Cheap, small, lightweight, easily produced in whatever quantities you need, has very little opportunities to break.

    Just thinking about the number of possible failure modes of that device gives me a headache. Lithium battery directly exposed to sunlight on a hot summer, really? Sigh…

  4. Maker Dan says:

    Get a keyring that essentially does the same thing as what [whitequark] talks about on eBay: http://r.ebay.com/YR7aTp

  5. the gambler says:

    you guys are missing the point IMHO she does these types of project to get girls involved into electronics. are there better ways i’m sure there are, are there things already out there that do this yes but this is a cute little project for a younger girl who might be interested in both textiles and electronics.

    to that I say great job and forget the naysayers for not seeing this for what it is

    • Hirudinea says:

      I agree with the people who say a simple UV sensitive object would be a much better way to go, and if you want to get girls into electronics then make a kit that says things like “No, your not fat!”, “Your way to good for him!” and “Go ahead, you deserve some chocolate!” at random intervals. Now if you’ll excuse me I have to go hide from the female hackers who are howling for my blood.

  6. Given the rates of vitamin D insufficiency and deficiency, people should be using sunscreen less frequently rather than more frequently.

  7. Kj6epl says:

    Since this is obviously intended to be used in the sun, ditch the battery and use a solar cell + capacitor (cap keeps it running if you walk into shade briefly). Plus then it’s auto on/off– powers on when you walk into the sun. Also calms down the lithium fire worry warts.

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