Wearable Electronics

Sometime ago I decided that I’d like to play with wearable electronics.  (I’m a software engineer – so it was going to happen eventually).  I bought some equipment, then everything got in the way.  Last night I finally got the electronics out and started to play.

One of the things I bought was a “LilyMini Protosnap”.  This is a mini circuit all ready to be programmed.  I ran into problems initially, and spent a lot of time trying to get it to work.  However, after re-reading the instructions I noticed that I needed to install an older version of one of the libraries.  So I tried again, but I still didn’t have any luck (I now had it complaining about missing files during compilation).

In the end I uninstalled both libraries and Arduino, then re-installed from scratch.  When it came to the libraries I installed the versions shown in the instruction screenshots (Arduino SAMD Boards v 1.6.14 and SparkFun SAMD Boards v 1.4.0).  This worked!  So if you’ve bought a LilyMini at some stage and it doesn’t work, then this is worth trying.

I’ve managed to load each of the 4 example programs onto the LilyMini and have had a play creating my own program.  I now need to think about how I want to use this in a project (probably with more sequin LEDs and no button).

Unfortunately, the LilyMini ProtoSnap appears to have been discontinued (that’s a shame – it’s a neat concept – and solves the prototyping problem for wearables for beginners).  However, if you do look at the LilyPad electronics, prices are very variable.  I’ve just seen the LilyPad LilyMini Protosnap for over £40 (although there are not many around).  When I bought mine last year it was just £10+VAT – which was a slight reduction from their original asking price of £12+VAT.

The Protosnap running some code:

LilyPad LilyMini Protosnap running some code. 2 of the 4 LEDs are brightly lit.

Some code (in C/C++):

Image of C/C++ code in the Arduino  Development Environment

Now I need to break the board apart so I can experiment with more sequin/LEDs and think about how I’m going to use this in a project (glittery shawl?)

I think the back of the board looks very pretty:

Photo showing the back of the LilyMini Protosnap board - 2 of the elements look like flowers.