We Were Really Overdue For Laser Jackets

Depending on who you talk to, everything is either fine, or we’re living in an oppressive cyberpunk dystopia in which we forgot to drench everything in colored neon lighting. There’s little to be done about the digital surveillance panopticon that stalks our every move, but as far as the aesthetic goes, [abetusk] is bringing the goods. The latest is a laser jacket, to give you that 2087 look in 2019.

The build starts with a leather jacket, which is festooned with 128 individual red laser diodes. These are ganged up in groups of 4, and controlled with 32 individual PWM channels using two PCA9685 controllers. An Arduino Nano acts as the brains of the operation, receiving input from a joystick and a microphone. This allows the user to control lighting effects and set the jacket to respond to sounds and music.

[abetusk] does a great job of conveying the tricks needed to successfully pull this off. The instructions should allow any curious maker to replicate the build at home, and code is available on Github to help run the show. There’s lots of detail on proper enclosures, connectors, and cabling techniques to avoid the wearer inadvertently pulling everything to bits when wearing the garment to the club. Remember, there’s nothing more punk than educating your friends.

It’s an eye-catching build that would be an excellent addition to any Neo-Chicago street gang wardrobe. It’s not the first time [abetusk] has graced these pages, either – there are electroluminescent looks, too. Video after the break.

18 thoughts on “We Were Really Overdue For Laser Jackets

      1. Yeah, I’m wondering about that. I’m no expert, but isn’t pupil dilation pretty common in rave clubs, between the general darkness and the effects of the various drugs? A casual shot from a laser pointer in those circumstances would be pretty irksome. Not eye damaging- still a IIIa- but worse than it’d otherwise be.

        I came here to post “How to get yourself socked then kicked out of the club in 31 easy steps!” But, in truth, I want one of these so bad now!

        1. Class I lasers are “totally” safe; you can stare at them continuously without harm. Class II lasers are safe as long as you don’t intentionally stare into the beam for more than a quarter of a second.

          This is mostly just going to be really annoying.

  1. This just gave me an idea….
    Instead of lazers (lasers are cool defo), Finding some near-IR clear fabric, making a jacket/raincoat/etc and filling the interior with near-IR LEDs… Not only will that help keep the cold edge of rain off… it’ll help drown out many surveillance cameras.

  2. This is what I imagine the result would be if Homer Simpson tried to one-up Naomi Wu’s Infinity Skirt build. LOL

    If you want to look cool while wearing it, maybe wear it over a shark costume?

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