These devices and kits are amazing ways to make your aesthetic electric
Bearables is a fun wearable maker kit by Pimoroni
Over the years, people have put Raspberry Pi computers in almost everything. That also includes clothing and devices to keep on your person, creating what are called wearables. You can now get kits and products that act as wearables, allowing you to upgrade your fashion sense with a bit of Pi.
Bearables (£13 / $13) is a really fun, quickish project that lets you add a cute, light-up animal to your clothes. There’s extra stuff you can do with it, like add a light sensor and such, and it comes with some conductive thread. Perfect for younger makers.
Need the smallest camera possible to do fun or secret stuff on your person? The ZeroCam (£15 / $20) lets you easily affix a very small, Pi-compatible camera to your clothes or wearable project for computer vision or just taking photos or video.
If you don’t fancy the current selection of smartwatches, or have big ideas for a very small screen, the Mixtile GENA (£37 / $48) is a great little screen to have a look at. It’s also bristling with sensors, and can connect wirelessly via Bluetooth.
Adafruit does a wide range of different wearable tech, but these LED sequins (£4 / $4) are the simplest of the bunch. Just give them a bit of power and they’ll light up – perfect for fun clothes or awesome cosplay effects.
The FLORA range (£14 / $15) is the main programmable wearable range from Adafruit, with big holes perfect for conductive thread and programmable as an Arduino device to control other wearable bits, along with its own light and on/off switch.
While there are many great FLORA modules, we just wanted to highlight this tiny GPS one (£37 / $40). We have visions of creating a backpack that will light LED direction indicators during your bike ride to work.
This shield (£6 / $6) lets you use the SparkFun Photon IoT board with your clothes – the breakout holes are perfect for conductive thread – and thus enables your coat to become a walking Internet of Things.
There’s an entire LilyPad wearable range (£2 / $2) with different bits and pieces. It’s low profile with no sharp corners, useful for clothing that might move over you. There’s also slide switches, LED boards, and more in the range.
CodeBug (£15 / $17) is a nice, fun, simple board that is shaped like, and easily programmed by, a Raspberry Pi. It has two buttons, a matrix of LEDs, and connectors for conductive thread. It’s a great starter piece for those getting into wearables.
If you can’t use conductive thread, you can always try some conductive paint, hidden among other colours or out of view. Bare Conductive (£7 / $9) also has a range of electronics that are small and work well with Pi and this paint.
Need some inspiration for what to make? Raspberry Pi has this simple getting started guide and check out the Fantastic Wearable Tech Projects book from Raspberry Pi Press.