I think that wearable electronics are a perfect fit for today’s young person for fashion or crafting. This fits with this generations comfort with technology and how it has seamlessly become a huge part of their life. The only thing that could make it more perfect is the ability to control DIY electronics from your smart phone or tablet. I am sure this is coming.
For those who don’t yet know what we are talking about there is new technology that is sometimes called DIY electronics that can be added to clothing, paintings, etc. Most of what this technology can do right now is allow your clothes to become multimedia. You can control lights, add motion detectors and use a keyboard by touching your clothes and completing a circuit. They do this by creating special circuit controllers and either sowing in wire or using special conducting ink. This means you can draw your circuits on your clothes, paper, canvas or a wall.
I am an older, geeky guy who doesn’t get excited about new trends, but this is really cool! I would play with this stuff and I am not into fashion. I can think of at least 1/4 of my school who would love to use DIY electronics and I know my art teacher would love to use this with her students. I can imagine her producing and DIY electronic fashion show by November if I gave her the money to purchase this new technology.
If you are interested in designing circuit with clothing here is a link to the book, Soft circuits: Creating e-Fashion with DIY Electronics: https://www.amazon.com/Soft-Circuits-Fashion-Electronics-Foundation/dp/0262027844 .
I really like the wearable product Flora by adafruit. There is a short video attached below. This seems like a very flexible and adaptable DIY electronic controller. It can do many different process, including using it as a keyboard and can be plugged into a computer using a USB cord. For a computer geek like me, this would be a good start. The video below is a quick introduction to all the features the Flora provides.
While I think this technology is cool I don’t think DIY electronics will have a big impact on education right now. I do think this has the potential to be one of the few emerging technologies that could develop to have a huge impact with further development. In the future your could just buy a shirt with a smart phone attached to the sleeve or have it drawn on your skin. Only time will tell, but I will be watching.
Buechley, L. How to “sketch” with electronics. Retrieved on 7-19-16 at 9:25 pm. Found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vTBp0Z5GPeI.
Qi. J. Interactive light painting: pu gong ying tu (dandelion painting). Retrieved on 9-19-16 at 9:30 pm. Found at https://vimeo.com/40904471.
What is FLORA? Adafruit’s Arduino-Compatible Wearables Platform. Adafruit. Retrieved on 7-19-16 at 9:25 pm. Found at https://www.adafruit.com/products/659.
Peppler, K. & Gresalfi, M. Soft circuits: Creating e-fashion with DIY electronics. Amazon.com. Retrieved on 7-19-16 ay 9:33 pm. Retrieved at https://www.amazon.com/Soft-Circuits-Fashion-Electronics-Foundation/dp/0262027844