Ever since a young Canadian student at MIT’s Media Lab began exploring the possibilities of wearable computing, the distance between information technologies and the body has collapsed. While Steve Mann continues to push the boundaries of leading to “cyborg” culture other developers are embracing the potential of the new medium. R&D firm adafruit has just released the first low-cost, mass-produced wearable computing system for the rest of us. Based on the remarkably pliable Arduino platform, FLORA is a complete system that makes citizens every bit as smart as the smart city they traverse.
Here is how the company introduces FLORA:
For the last few years Ladyada has been thinking about everything she wanted in a wearable electronics platform for Adafruit’s community of makers, hackers, crafters, artists, designers and engineers. After months of planning, designing and working with partners around the world for the best materials and accessories, we can share what we’re up to. The hardware is now in the hands of our staff and testers! We call it the FLORA… The FLORA comes with projects at launch, the FLORA addressable and chain-able 4,000 mcd RGB LED pixels and premium stainless steel thread. The FLORA has built-in USB support. Built in USB means you plug it in to program it, it just shows up. No additional purchases are needed! Works with Mac, Windows, Linux, any USB cable works great.
Currently the PCB comes with a mini B connector but future versions may change to microUSB. Either will work great. The FLORA has USB HID support, so it can act like a mouse, keyboard, MIDI, etc. to attach directly to cellphones. Our iPhone/iPad/Android app coming soon. The FLORA’s modules include: Bluetooth, GPS, 3-axis accelerometer, compass module, flex sensor, piezo, IR LED, push button, embroidered + capacitive keypad, OLED and more. The FLORA has a small but easy to use onboard reset button to reboot the system. The FLORA is fabric friendly. The FLORA does not use FTDI headers (built in USB support) headers of any kind sticking out can grab and tear fabric. The FLORA has an onboard 3.3v 100mA regulator with protection schottky diode and USB fuse so that power is consistent and can power common 3.3v modules and sensors.
The FLORA has onboard polarized 2 JST battery connector with protection schottky diode for use with external battery packs from 3.5v to 16v DC in. Can be used with LiIon/LiPoly, LiFe, alkaline or rechargeable NiMh/NiCad batteries of any size.
What more could a MESH Cities traveller want?