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Lighted shoe ruffles — he’ll never step on your toes again

Whether for fashion, emergency lighting, or just to make a statement, these lighted shoe clips make for a unique footwear accessory. [Becky Stern], who we’ve seen before hacking automatic knitting machines, tackles this quick lighted project.

The electronics are simple, two LEDs connected in parallel to a button battery by some conductive thread. The circuit is the same as an LED throwie, but she’s using a sewable battery holder. The ruffle is made by cutting out and folding several circles of fabric. We’re not too used to working with this building material and were glad to hear her tip on fusing the cut edges with a lighter. She’s also got a good tip about bending one LED lead in a square shape and the other in a round shape to keep track of the polarity. After sewing everything together and completing the circuit with the conductive thread [Becky] adds a paper clamp making this easy to use with any shoe. In fact, the guy’s don’t have to miss out on the fun as this could easily double as a boutineer.

Don’t miss [Becky's] complete walk through video embedded after the break.

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Location tracking using IR throwies

[Joe] and his team hacked together some location tracking using IR throwies for their final project. The challenge they undertook was to find a way to track the orientation of a sculpture in the form of a rotating metal cube. The end result dips its toe into the augmented reality pool but the methods are what interest us.

They wanted this to work day or night so contrast would be a major issue if working completely with image manipulation. Having a simple way to pick out the corners of the monotone block would make this process a breeze. They ended up using magnetic throwies that have an infrared LED which can easily be picked up by a webcam no matter what the ambient light issues happen to be.

After the break you can see these guys out in the wild testing the system. We’d like to note the diffusers used in the project. We’re used to seeing ping-pong balls as diffusers but this is the first time we’ve noticed Styrofoam balls being used.

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