FLORA - a platform for your wearable DIY electronics projects
January 23, 2012
A new platform for wearable electronics, known as the FLORA, was announced by its creators Adafruit Industries on Friday. Essentially a small, round, fabric-friendly circuit board that looks a little like a flower, the FLORA will, when ready, be launched with a variety of accessories and software. These will include, we gather, controllers for iPhone, iPad and Android hardware. The FLORA is ripe for wearable DIY electronics projects: announced modules include Bluetooth, GPS, 3-axis accelerometer, compass, and, intriguingly, OLED.
The FLORA is a 1.75-inch (44.5 mm) diameter Arduino-compatible circuit board designed from the outset to be both user and fabric-friendly, as well as safe for beginners. As such, there are no thread-catching sticky-outy things like FTDI headers, plus it includes polarized connectors, protection diodes and an onboard regulator to avoid battery mishap, and it's compatible with an array of battery technologies.
The FLORA was designed by electrical engineer Limor Fried (a.k.a. Ladyada) to drive "a large quantity" of RGB LED pixels such as the forthcoming FLORA pixel range of accessories - see the video below for an example. Considering the variety of input modules planned, a number of oddball applications spring immediately to mind, including jackets that change color depending on the weather, illuminated "don't talk to me" indicators when the wearer is on a call (automated anti-sociability, anyone?), or a shirt that tweets on your behalf if you fall down a well. Hopefully the testers will come up with rather more practical ideas.
The FLORA is entering a period of testing and may undergo significant changes prior to launch. To keep abreast of its progress, and for a full idea of the specs, have a peak at the official FLORA announcement.
Source: Boing Boing