Leah Buechley published teaser photos of her turn signal jacket a few month ago but no description on how she did it. The wait is over, Leah posted an extensive DIY description on her Website and on Instructables.
As with all other projects Leah has published on her site, everything you need to build your own turn signal jacket is available: a shopping list for the materials and tools, source code to get started quickly and a step by step description with many photos make it easy to create the turn signal jacket.
At the heart of the system is Leah’s LilyPad Arduino, the most advanced wearable electronic tool set on the market and the reason why the turn signal jacket can be made in such a simple way.
The direction indication is activated via a small switch that can be placed on the jacket anywhere but as Leah suggests the best location for the switch might be on the sleeve near the wrist.
A cool feature is the single LED light on the sleeve that gives visual indication if the arrows on the back are working and you can trust the direction indicator does its job.
The turn signal jacket is one of the best concepts/instructions/inspirations for DIY wearable electronic I have seen so far. It’s easy to follow thanks to the LilyPad modules and demonstrates a very practical variant of interactive clothing that can be easily made yourself.
Leah’s instructions build an excellent basis from which wearable electronic DIY enthusiasts can derive versions to suit her/his own unique style. The reward of the electronic stitching: having fun and get a bit more safety when cycling at night.