14 November 2014

Novelty of the week award goes to the winner of the Hats Off design challenge, in which 10 participants from around the world reimagined the traditional hat into wearable technology solutions.


Barbara Eldredge from the US took home the top prize for her ‘Jaunty Fascinator’, a traditional English fascinator equipped with an accelerometer to measure the wearer’s movement. Data collected by embedded sensors prompts NeoPixels within the hat to change colour intensity and temperature from blue to green, yellow, orange and red.

David Crittenden received an honourable mention for his ‘Coachman’s Navigational Top Hat’ which transformed a traditional top hat into a LED compass using an accelerometer, magnetometer and NeoPixel ring. Todd Cowley also received an honourable mention for his ‘Iron Man Helmet’, complete with glowing blue eyes.

The design challenge was run by element14, an online community for engineers, and Adafruit Industries, with competitors judged on their creativity, quality of documentation and execution. Participants each received Adafruit’s GEMMA, a tiny Arduino-compatible, sewable microcontroller capable of lighting up LEDs when trigged by simple sensors and actions, along with sensors, batteries, clips and switches courtesy of element14.

“Barbara’s design and those of the other participants demonstrate how wearable technology is more seamlessly balancing form with function as it moves toward the mainstream,” element14 Community boss Dianne Kibbey said. “element14 is amazed by our members who time and time again engineer innovative, forward-thinking solutions, and we congratulate Barbara and all of the Hats Off participants on their work.”


Source: media release


Jaunty Fascinator video

[vimeo id=”110203513″ width=”620″ height=”360″]

Coachman’s Navigational Top Hat video

[youtube id=”bOco9DerzOE” width=”620″ height=”360″]

Iron Man Helmet video

[youtube id=”G9vJwp51ykw” width=”620″ height=”360″]

element14 Design Challenge here

Adafruit: www.adafruit.com


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