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What Does Fashion Lack? "Microcontrollers" I always answer - and it's TRUE! It makes your garments SO much more interesting, interactive and communicative as soon as you add some INTELLIGENCE to it.

But which ones are on the market?

I started a little research on available on some of the hottest SMALLEST boards at the moment:

If you have any recommendations - please feel free to help me with my challenge of finding the BEST microcontroller boards AROUND!

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Picture of MY CHOICE: TEENSY 3.1
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Why? Because it's SUPER small, reliable, affordable and adorable. The only downside I could discover was the color green. But teensy-creator Paul Stoffenregen recently added a PURPLE one to the repertoire. In collaboration with OSH Park

The tiny board runs a full 32 bit ARM processor which is a similar architecture to what is used in many mobile phones today. It's using an adapted Arduino language called 'Teensieduino' - a software add-on for the Arduino, to run sketches on the Teensy and Teensy++. It is also possible to program this board directly with C or still use the Arduino IDE with just a small patch. Teensy 2.0 runs 5V, teensy 3.0 runs 3.3V and the newly introduced Teensy 3.1 ($19,80) runs both 5V tolerance on digital outputs as still running on 3.3V as well. Today most new chips use 3.3V signals, but many legacy products output 5 volt digital signals this was a little bit switching back and forth between Teensy 2.0 and 3.0 prior.

Also - on the Teensy 3.1 the RAM has quadrupled, from 16K to 64K. While 16K is plenty for nearly all Arduino libraries, 64K allows for more advanced applications. Icons and graphics for color displays and audio effects requiring delays, like reverb and chorus, will become possible on Teensy 3.1. Flash memory has doubled, to 256K, and provides double the memory bandwidth.

A perfect controller for more advanced projects that can make use of the power available on-board.

Teensy website:


THE.DOUBLE.SS4 months ago


did u try to outout audio via Intel Edison kit expansion


Alderin8 months ago

You are missing the Moteino from, very small Arduino software compatible board, comes with RFM12/RFM69 wireless communication modules (though available without) and optional SRAM on board. Very low price, very easy to use.

jack19869 months ago

Someone did gave their answer, with a cheaper&stronger Arduino-compatible controller:

veeguy9 months ago

These tiny micros are great for wearable fashion, they are able to be almost undetectable in the finished garment. My idea goes in the opposite direction... For workout clothes or exercise gear, take a step back into the 1980's. A Zilog Z-80 development board featured 4K random access memory, 8K Eeprom and a compliment of 8 i/o plus a microsecond resolution timer. it fit into a 4" X 6" package and only consumes 250 mA (milliamps, not micro or nanoamps!) making a lead acid gel cell battery mandatory if you needed a runtime past "several minutes". You program it in Z-80 assembly language, as God intended programming to be conducted in

This micro eliminates the need to use separate weights or carry auxiliary equipment, for your workout, as the minimum unit (micro/battery/doodads) weighs about 4 pounds. The up side to this setup is it allows the use of incandescent lights and klaxons in place of those pesky LED's, EL wire and piezos.

After all, if you wear workout clothes, it *should* be a workout.

-Just my 2 cents worth... (that's 2 pre 1984 COPPER cents Missy)

Kweek9 months ago

For SHAME!! You have completely excluded !Their new digispark pro is extremely compact and fairly powerful. They have and fairly comprehensive selections of shields, and the prices are fantastic.

XTL9 months ago

The micropython board has similar capabilities and you can program it in Python - which is much easier IMHO.
Sorry but its also green :)

akonradi9 months ago

If you're looking for cheap, I suggest the Arduino Pro Mini from Sparkfun. You'd need a separate FTDI cable, but if you're buying in bulk, these might end up being cheaper.

rma310 months ago

Hi Anouk!

Loved your show at Makerfaire San Mateo! :D Here is an awesome little board by Tiny Circuits- hope this helps you in your quest for the smallest boards! ^^

audreyobscura rma310 months ago

Those are awesome.

Jan_Henrik10 months ago

Very cool!

ndragovich10 months ago
Might I suggest the tinyduino. They actually have a washable set.
andrea biffi10 months ago

very interesting, thanks!