Picture of RaspberryPi Powered Wearable Computer

I have been interested in wearable computing for a while.  Until the RaspberryPi was released, there was no affordable and compact option for the computer part of a wearable computer.  My original setup used a laptop in a backpack, but that is a little too big to be practical.  I have seen a lot of arduino based wearable electronics, but they are not exactly what I have been looking for - a full power desktop computer that you can carry around at your side and use while walking, standing, sitting, or doing anything else. 

As a linux guy for many years, the RaspberryPi is the perfect solution to my problem, and I'm already comfortable with the OS.  Before you begin, make sure you read through my instructions.  I have updated several sections through the past few months. 

Just so you guys know, this is my first instructable after being a lurker here for almost seven years.  I'm excited.  So, let's begin! 

Update March 2013: I am now using a new (3D printed!) case.  Significant updates to the battery pack made as well.  The new case prevents the Pi from being totally enclosed, and marginally decreases the form factor. 

Update September 2013: Added a new video demonstration.  Check it out! 
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AadityaP7 months ago

What all can you use for a screen? Can I use something other than the specified video glasses?

if you dont mind not having a brand

These are around $50;

meztek (author)  AadityaP7 months ago

You can use anything that outputs composite or HDMI video. That is the beauty of the RaspberryPi. I chose to use video glasses for the purpose of making the entire setup wearable.

Amazing tutorial, very well done. I am currently making one of my own, albeit with only one display. My question is this; what kind of draw is there in amps by the setup? I am having a problem with the power pack I am using curently.

thermallyme1 month ago

Thats awesome

Wolf_King645 months ago

I would say "amazing", but i can't because my jaw broke when it hit the floor. This is one of the coolest things i've ever seen.

meztek (author) 7 months ago

Note to those who have asked me a question to which I have not replied: Work gets the best of me sometimes. While I try to stick around to answer questions I do not always get the chance.

AadityaP7 months ago


I was wondering if instead of the listed Raspberry Pi Model B I could use the Model A+?

meztek (author)  AadityaP7 months ago

Sure, that's probably an even better choice now that it is available since it uses less power. Your only challenge will be using one USB port. USB can only output so much power so if you want a keyboard and network connection it might be a challenge.

yieldlymph7 months ago


paverphalange12 months ago

You might instead add the raspberry pi camera to the outside so you can walk around and take pictures of the way you are facing...


Appreciate the links that you gave and the pricing, thanks for that!

mousepaper1 year ago


Thats astonishing...


fastbobble1 year ago

Its helpful :)

gorgeddamp1 year ago

Very good...!!

Its helpful :)

What kind of image quality do you get from this? Can you read this comment on it?

he said his glasses are 852x480px each

ybesser1 year ago

could you provide amazon or ebay links for these?
I live in Israel, and it's pretty hard for me to find electrical supplies where I live that arent grossly overpriced


illrings1 year ago

Thats astonishing...

airbugger1 year ago

Thats marvelous

Thats remarkable...

Istarian1 year ago

Pretty cool. I think the word you're looking for is "portability".

I'm not really sure how your glasses work, but, depending on the tech, the LCDs may have semi-reflective back panels (to even out the back light distribution?) or just a sheet of something opaque. If you can get that off, you should be able to see through the lcds (they should be mostly transparent). If you can turn the backlight off and have software that sets the pixels for white (presumably the max transparency of the lcd) you might be able to have better visibility through them.

It would probably be good to have UV protection on the outside edge in such a design, as the amount of light that travels through the lcd might be small enough to cause your eyes to dilate (to let in more light) and thus expose you to more UV than usual (if the glasses don't block UV).

You might instead add the raspberry pi camera to the outside so you can walk around and take pictures of the way you are facing...

Translucent might be more truthful, but it would probably be better than not being able to see through the.

nerd74731 year ago

I am thinking about doing this for about a hundred bucks because I already have everything for the Pi I just need a keyboard/mouse combo that is bluetooth...

headlymph1 year ago


tealrink1 year ago



harechubby1 year ago



calmlunch1 year ago


clapfilk1 year ago



Thats brilliant

I think going li-poly here would be a reasonable option. Lighter, smaller, and quite a bit more power. The tricky part is dealing with charging and such but even then, there are several pre-made packs that would fit the bill if you don't want to get into rolling your own.
meztek (author)  jairuncaloth2 years ago
Yeah, that's a really, really good idea. I've recently improved the battery pack a little bit, but I do think you're right on going to li-poly batteries. The biggest interest I would have is not only more power and a smaller pack like you mentioned, but also cost. The battery pack I used in the project cost a total of $70. When you think about that being for only four AA batteries with a charge controller.... that's a decent 15-20% of the project cost. Any ideas where I could find a pre-made compact pack?

How about li-ion batteries? I should think they would be easier to charge. And since they're used in cellular phones, slim li-ion batteries in the size of a Raspberrypi might be easy to come by.
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