This light-sensitive project is designed to keep pedestrians safe, without compromising style!
The days are getting shorter and shorter my friends. WINTER IS COMING. Night is falling at an unnaturally early hour (in my humble opinion), and I have been finding myself out and about after dark more than during daylight.
With the LilyPad 10-year anniversary in mind, and a hot set of new LilyPad products, I decided to make myself a winter accessory using sewable electronics that would both keep me warm and keep me safe this winter, all while still looking stylish as heck.
Enter the Safety Scarf (which is more like a cowl, but honestly, calling it what it is would ruin my carefully-crafted alliteration and that's a sacrifice I am not willing to make).
The Safety Scarf is a very soft and cozy wearable project that is embedded with a LilyPad UBS Plus, a LilyPad Light Sensor, and two sewable LED ribbons. When ambient light is low, the LED ribbons will automatically turn on, making the wearer more visible to drivers, bikers and other pedestrians - ultimately making them safer. The material quality of the LED ribbon makes them look like piping along the seam - giving them a subtle, clean aesthetic.
As some of our dedicated readers will know from my wearable rants, functionality is just one part of a successful wearable project. I could go on for hours about this, but when designing wearables, it is always important to consider what makes a successful garment as well as what makes a successful functional interactive project. All of this is to say, there is a fun layer of complexity when designing wearable projects that needs to be considered, and because of that, the wearability and versatility of this project are probably my favorite things about it.
As shown in the images above, the Safety Scarf features an infinity scarf style. On extra cold nights, the user can loop it around twice, giving extra warmth and comfort. On more temperate nights, the user can wear it loose, allowing more breathing room. Since it is comfy and cute, with the electronics mostly hidden, the user can also turn the scarf off and simply use it for warmth during the day. The circuit switch and charging port are easily accessible too! Does anyone else out there get this excited when form and function meet in such harmony?!
...Seriously. I'd love to know. Please comment below.
To learn more about this project and to make your own, visit the full tutorial here, and, as always, share your thoughts and ideas in the comments below!
See our LED page for everything you need to know to start using these components in your project.
Feldi and I both come from a 24-hour well-lit city environment and the darkness here in Colorado feels unnatural. Walking down my own street feels unsafe because I am unaware of my surroundings and others are unaware of me.
However, if I came strutting down the street like a sexy Christmas tree I would be a heck more conspicuous and this would make me feel safer. As for the lights shining in my eyes and reducing visibility - you got a point - but in this case the scarf could be flipped around 180 pointing the light downwards. Though, I bet simply tucking the scarf under the chin would also do the trick. Pedestrians, bikers, cars, will all still see the glowing girl down the street - and that is the point.
I'm excited to see this prototype go further.
I totally agree with improving visibility stylishly. Other arrangements of the LED string would be to put the string in the mid-section of the scarf (so it's not on the edge close to your eyes) or around the edges of a comfortable vest you can wear over a sweater.
Style and functionality <3 <3 <3
Good job - it looks well integrated rather than simply a bunch of leds stuck on some cloth. Safety and style well mixed!
Thank you! That's exactly what we were going for! :)