Color Organ Dress, A Wearable With Audio Feedback

There is a huge amount of interest among our community in wearable electronics, but it is fair to say that it is a technology that has a way to go at our level in terms of its application. Some twinkly LEDs are all very well, but unless you have the arrived-on-a-spaceship-from-the-future aesthetic of someone like [Naomi Wu] to carry them off they get old rather quickly.

What the sew-on LED sector of wearable electronics is waiting for are some applications, wearable lights that do something rather than just look pretty. And [Moko] has a project that takes them in that direction, with her color organ dress, a garment whose LEDs react to ambient sound with the aid of a MEMS microphone and an Adafruit Gemma M0 microcontroller board. The LEDs form a color wheel which rotates, and stops at a point proportional to the sound level at the time.

The write-up is an interesting one, going into a little detail as it does in the images on the construction of an electronically-enhanced piece of clothing. Wiring everything up is one thing, but there are other considerations such as the incorporation of extra panels to protect them from mechanical stress, and from sweat. From a dressmaker’s perspective it’s a well constructed garment in its own right with an attractive PCB-style pattern (Where did she get that fabric? Or did she print it herself?) and it appears that she’s the fortunate owner of a serger (overlocker).

Well-assembled clothing has made it here before, for example an impressive jellyfish skirt or this laser-cut arcsin dress. And should you wish to make a garment for your next wearable project, you’ll be sure to need a well-stocked textile bench.

Jellyfish Inspired LED Skirt For Burning Man

[Lumilectric] is getting ready for Burning Man and made herself this fantastic fiber optic LED skirt.

She’s always been fascinated by fiber optics and the effect they create, so she wanted to try using them in a project, and this was just the ticket. The tricky part was figuring out how best to couple cheap fiber optic strands off eBay with a strip of RGB LEDs.

In the end she figured out a way to make rudimentary fiber optic coupling joints using vinyl tubing. She managed to fit 17 strands of 0.5mm diameter fiber into a 6mm diameter vinyl tube. To improve light transfer when it’s all together, you can gently melt the ends of the fiber optics together to glaze the plastic into a single clear surface — don’t melt the vinyl though!

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LED Concert Dress

[Geri] has an awesome brother. He made this amazing LED dress for her to wear at the [Taylor Swift] concert last weekend!

As you may or may not know, she encourages her fans to bring “glowy”  things to wave around at her concerts. A quick check of the exhibition arena’s conditions of entry, and it seemed like LEDs would be allowed, so [Patrick] got to work.

He’s using a set of waterproof red LED strips and a cheap controller ordered from China. They needed a rather beefy battery pack so [Patrick] threw together a switchmode buck converter to drop a 19.8V 4.5A/h battery pack to a constant 12V for the LED controller. Not wanting to mess up the red cocktail dress, their mom sewed the strips into place. The dress is super bright and looks great — it draws about 25W, so the battery pack should last for the entire duration of the concert.

Unfortunately about a week before the concert they discovered Vector Arena is not allowing LED lights into the concert, which as you can imagine, was quite heartbreaking.

Thankfully, someone reached out to the organizers and they made an exception for them! [Geri] even ended up on the front page of their local newspaper! Stick around after the break to see a video of the dress in action!

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