Wearable workshop update

Budget total now from crowdfunding + from uni support is…well…it’s a lot. I’m so humbled by this entire process. It’s still ongoing if anyone wants to throw some more money in, I promise I won’t spend it on a Caribbean holiday – in case anyone reading this doesn’t know what I’m on about, this is a wearable tech workshop involving GEMMAS, batteries, LEDs and conductive thread for some guides in Bristol.

Since camjam at the weekend, I’ve been starting to look at how I’m going to do this workshop.

This consists of actually figuring out how to plan out the workshop, and suddenly bricking it going “OH GOD, I’M DOING THIS ON MY OWN” and drinking copious amounts of red wine. I am planning on talking to the guide leaders about how best to support the workshop, because every guide unit has 4 or 5 people on hand if I remember rightly, so that should help, but it’s still getting quite daunting. If anyone wants to help with this and has a full CRB done (and can be in Bristol on a tuesday night..), give me a shout. I know of one person but that’s like it.

I thought funding would be the hardest part. I didn’t really consider much further than that, to be honest, and now that I am, I’m very glad I’m not putting any sensors into this project. That would add a level of complexity too far above an hour’s session.

Anyway, aside from the activities above, I’ve managed to make a bunch of flashcards, which when the deadline of crowdfunding is over will go out to the people who put in £20. I think I will probably plan out a second workshop with sensors and some code for doing so, so that these resources are actually worth £20, and also so that I can justify posting resources that work on my blog, or giving them away freely.

In all honesty, I didn’t think anyone would or could be generous enough to donate £20…I’m still flabbergasted I have to take a photo of Charlie, sign it for him and post it to Hannah Dee…

I’ve been speaking to a bunch of people for advice on resource creation – it’s times like these I like having a big circle of hacker friends who do good stuff to inspire people, because this is my first time organising anything. haha. Organising, me…this is probably an awful idea.

I’m mulling over these ideas for workshops as additions:

Colour sensor

Add a colour sensor to the aforementioned gemma workshop. This kind of depends on when and how FLORA code will be ported to GEMMA, and whether I’ll have to do it myself, but I like the idea of showing kids that say, if you make a pair of earrings, you can easily make it so they’ll flash in the colour of the outfit you’re wearing without reprogramming them.

If the code is hard to port, I’d have to buy extra FLORAs…heh…

Temperature sensor 

Same basic principle, but change the LED colour based on how hot or cold it is. This one would be reasonably simple to put in because of the tindie board SquareWear, which looks awesome – they’re about £15 (not including postage) each and include a temp and light sensor, and also an onboard RGB LED. So if you really wanted, this would actually just require 1 board.

Before going for anything, I’m going to try out and repeatedly run the current plan with various groups, once I get the organisation for any future ones done – right now I’m focussing on getting this one done. Eventually I’ll put up some form of poll/form to gauge interest on people wanting me to cart my kit over to them (assuming it’s around Bristol/somerset/gloucester or else the North and you’re happy to wait till next semester…)

I know from David’s workshop that it’s all about finding out what works, and you’ll never know till you actually run it and find out “nope they don’t have time to do all of this”



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