Build your own Smart Hoodie with a 16 x 32 LED display that is connected via bluetooth to your phone and can display text you enter or display tweets with a specific hashtag from twitter.
Scrap of fabric larger than 4" x 7"
Micro USB Cable
Blend Micro - an Arduino Development Board with BLE
Ultrathin 16x32 Red LED Matrix Panel
Laser Cutter (optional)
Acrylic sheet for laser cut case (optional)
#2 screws (4)
#2 nuts (4)
Tinted plastic for lens
Step 1: Cut Opening in Hoodie for Display
Cut a 2" by 5" opening in the hoodie where you would like the display.
Step 2: Cut Corners
In each corner of the rectangular opening cut in step 1, cut a 0.87" long slit at an angle to the adjacent sides. The rectangle formed by these 4 cuts should be 3.25" by 6.25"
A DXF file that can be used to laser cut the opening or printed and used as a template is attached.
Step 3: Make Frame From Wire Coat Hanger
Cut large section from a wire coat hanger. Use needlenose pliers to bend the wire into an 3.5" by 6.5" rectangle. Solder the ends of the wire together where they meet (may need to lightly file or sand the wire in the area where you are soldering to expose bare metal for the solder to adhere to).
Step 4: Cut the Pocket
Cut an 4" by 7" section of fabric that will become the pocket in the hoodie for the display. It is recommended that the fabric used for the pocket has some stretch to it.
Step 5: Cut the Plastic Lens
For the lens we used Eastman TX2001 + 30% Smoke, 60 mils thickness. Other tinted acrylic or plastics could probably also be used successfully.
Cut the plastic for the lens into a 6.5" by 4" rectangle. If using a laser cutter, a dxf for the lens is attached.
Step 6: Pin the Wire Frame and Pocket in the Opening
Turn the hoodie inside out. Place the wire frame over the opening. Fold each of the 4 flaps over the wire frame. Position the fabric for the pocket such that the sides and bottom are roughly even with the edges of the folded over flaps. Pin the flaps and pocket in place together on the bottom and side edges. For the top, pin only the flap (the top of the pocket will remain open for inserting the display).
Make sure to try inserting the lens into the pocket once you have everything pinned and before you sew in order to verify that everything fits properly.
Step 7: Sew the Flaps and Pocket Into Place
Using a sewing machine, sew the pocket and flaps into place. On the top seam, sew only the flap in place leaving the top of the pocket open.
Step 8: Program the Blend Micro
Step 9: Solder Blend Micro to LED Display
Position the blend micro onto connector J1 on the display as shown in the photo and solder in place.
Step 10: Solder Wires
Solder the black wire from the display to one of the GND pins on the Blend Micro. Solder the red wire from the display to the Vin pin on the Blend Micro. Add 2 jumper wires and shown in the photo, from the OE pin on the display to pin A4 and from R1 to A3.
Step 11: Attach the LED Display to the Lens
If you were able to laser cut the lens then you may wish to also laser cut the mounting plate (0.125" acrylic, or 2 layers of 0.0625"), lens back (0.0625" acrylic) and lens frame (0.0625" acrylic) that can be assembled to make a case for the display (see attached dxf files and assembly detail). Use the screws included with the display to mount the display to the mounting plate. Use 4 #2 screws and nuts to secure together the lens, frame and mouting plate. Attach the lens back with double sided tape or adhesive to the back of the mounting plate. The openings on the back of the lens back can be covered with a thin plastic sheet or electrical tape.
If you don't have access to a laser cutter, you can place the lens and display into the hoodie and determine the proper alignment between display and lens in order to center the display in the hoodie opening. Mark or measure the location of the display on the lens, remove both from the hoodie and attach the display. There are multiple ways the lens can be attached, hot glue even masking tape will work in a pinch. Note that the orientation of the display is such that the USB connector is on the bottom by default, however this can be easily changed in the software.
Step 12: Locate the USB Battery
The USB battery can be placed into a user's pants pocket, in which case a USB cable is simply run from the Blend Micro USB port down into the pocket. As an alternative the battery can be located in the pocket of the hoodie, in which case you may want to cut a small hole in the back side of the hoodie pocket in order to run the cable from the battery to the display.
Step 13: Download the App, Enjoy the Hoodie
The app to control the hoodie was written for iOS, so I'm not sure how to get it. For now email Myles (firstname.lastname@example.org) and ask how to get it, or better yet, why he didn't write it for Android.
Update: Thanks to Bakerface, there is now also an Android interface for the hoodie. It lacks the twitter integration at the moment, but you are able to send text from an Android device to the hoodie display, details to follow.