After dozen months of works, We finally have live demo for the public. At Maker Faire 2010, we demonstrate two shirts and show how they work. People (especially kids) love it! We feel happy that we get so many positive responses. People think this is gonna happen in the next few year. (manufactured by weird Japanese company lol) In addition, few commercial companies are interested at our project. The device can definitely customize for different theme which has potential for commercial. We don’t mind to put this project into that direction after we graduate.

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People are asking me how to make connection between Arduino and Processing. Here is the trick.

We can separate in two parts. Let’s go through the Processing part first. At the beginning you have to import the serial library for processing. Then create a serial object and assign the particular arguments at the setup phase. Afterward, If you are using the keyboard as the input device you need to rewrite the keyPressd() and KeyReleased() function for keyevents.

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After we made the first prototype we found the critical shortcoming of Bluetooth and we thought it is not a good idea to apply BT on our garments.

The main reason is because BT communication has to pair two devices before working. Once we pair two of them it is not easy interrupting with third garment. We consider BT is not an ideal protocol for peer communication.

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Here is another example for using multiple Sparkfun led matrixes. To use multiple matrixes, you need to assert the “daisychain” function in between each of frame. (Although the documentation said you only need to set up one time at the beginning, but I found sometimes it would give you trouble if you don’t call it every frame.)

Because of so many sub functions in the sketch so I packed it up as a library. In our project we used six of them as a huge matrix, therefore the lib is compatible with maximum 6 matrixes, either 1x6, 2x3, or 3x2 is supported. (And of course you can use less than 6)

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This video proved the concept of the Bluetooth communication between cell phone and Arduino. In the first generation design, we attempt to use the Cell phone as the central controller therefore how to build up the communication between Arduino and Cell phone become a challenge.

We thought the Arduino BT would be the solution. The onboard BT module saves us  time and energy on hardware implementation. However, the software part tortured me for a week. Neither J2ME nor BT protocol is easy!

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In kimono dragons project, the first coming problem was display. After doing some researches we decided to use the led matrix from Sparkfun. The reasons are because it was modularized and it can easily communicate with SPI protocol.

However, I had a tough time with it at the beginning, especially when I am not familiar with Arduino. I got stuck at some tricky points and took quite a long time to figure it out how to fix it.

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