DIY eTextiles – Adafruit Flora

Picking up on my habit featuring DIY infos for the weekend, the recent announcement of Adafruit about the soon to be launched wearable electronic platform called Flora, designed by Limor Fried aka Ladyada, is promising a exiting year ahead for the eTextile community.

Flora will be an alternative to the currently available LilyPad, a wearable computing platform used by the eTextile community as essential part in their tool box.

The circular shape is taking it’s lead from the LilyPad but Flora comes with a smaller footprint measuring just 44.45mm (1.75 inch) in diameter compared to 50mm (1.97 inch) of the LilyPad.

A great advancement is also the inclusion of a mini-USB connector on the Flora board, taking away the need of an additional breakout board for USB connection to a computer. This on-board USB connector makes updating of the Flora software on the fly easy.

14 sewing tap pads for attachment and electrical connection will give lot of room to create complex wearable tech systems.

Almost any battery can be connected safely to the Flora with voltages ranging form 3.5v to 16v DC and allow battery chemistry of LiIon/LiPoly, LiFe, alkaline or rechargeable NiMh/NiCad batteries. No worry about polarity of the battery, the Flora will not give up on you when accidentally the battery is connected in the wrong way. A integrated schottky diode will protect the electronic.

The Flora platform will be expanded with additional modules such as Bluetooth, GPS, 3-axis accelerometer, compass module, flex sensor, piezo, IR LED, push button, embroidered + capacitive keypad, OLED and more to be added in future.

This new wearable electronics platform will open – or should I say unleash – a new wave of wearable tech creativity, providing beginners and professional alike a powerful tool to make, hack and design the fashion of the future.

I will certainly keep you posted on the progress and release of the Flora platform.

Read more details about Flora at Adafruit Industries

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