CONCEPT & OBJECTIVE
The idea of this wearable is to create a meditation timer. This timer is set for one minute of mindfulness to help the user quiet their mind when they are possibly overwhelmed. When the mindfulness arm band is on the user, the wearable is idle and serves as a fashion piece. However, when wanting to practice a minute of meditation, the bracelet can be taken off which triggers a 6o second timer. For each 10 second interval, a pair of LEDs change colour to signal the passing of time. When the 60 seconds are up, the user is met with a rainbow animation and peaceful melody to alert the one minute has been completed.
I know personally, nearing the end of this semester, I suffered tremendously with my personal mental health and found that incorporating just one minute of meditation helped me relax and listen to what my body needed most; rest. “Have you ever wanted your mind to leave you alone? Try this. Set a timer for 60 seconds, close your eyes and focus on your breathing. If you notice yourself getting distracted, simply return your attention to the rise and fall of your chest as you breathe. That’s it. Seriously, try it (Whitaker, 2017).”
I first started sketching the circuit for my wearable. At first, I was going to use the CPX’s built in switch, however decided to include an external switch for better wearability.
I then started to test my circuit’s functionality using the CPX and alligator clips. I attached a metal snap to the positive alligator clip and the other to the negative alligator clip to ensure the same result would be reflected when sewing the snaps onto the armband. I created and edited my code based off a Handwashing Timer Code and a 10 Second Timer Code found on Adafruit’s Blog.
After ensuring the circuit was functioning with the alligator clips, I began creating the arm band from scrap felt I had lying around the house. I measured the dimensions of my wrist size onto black felt and cut three horizontal strips. I then decided on the width of my armband and cut multiple purple felt strips to create the weave pattern. After the foundation of the weave was laid out, I cut off the excess and hot glued the strips in place. I then proceeded to attach the CPX to the armband with non-conductive thread (embroidery thread). Next, I sewed the circuit with conductive thread connecting to the GND and A5 Pin and attached a metal clasp to each end.
The final step of completing the wearable was sewing on the white circle of felt to diffuse the LEDs and add some decorative elements. I decided to add a lotus which represents strength and hope. Afterwards, I plugged in my CPX to ensure the circuit and code were still functioning. Luckily enough, I experienced no issues on the first try!
FINAL PROJECT IMAGES
IDLE DURING MEDITATION
WEARABLE BEING WORN
- Circuit Playground Express + Power Adaptor
- Conductive Thread
- Metal Snaps
- 3 Felt Pieces
- Embroidery Thread (Non-conductive thread)
- Hot Glue Gun
- Sewing Needle
REFLECTION & NEXT STEPS
Overall, I am very proud of myself for creating this wearable! I liked how I created a product that I would integrate into my everyday life and even has a pretty aesthetic to encourage consistent use. From the last wearable I created, I achieved my goal and improved on the stitching of my conductive thread. This time the sewing was clean and tight to prevent any short circuiting. This project was a mix of both my expressive wearable and skill sharing workshop. I took the idea of the timer from the handwashing timer and then implemented the metal snap switch from my expressive wearable tote bag! I learned how to successfully build a timer in MakeCode while adding additional elements like melody and animation! In the future, I would be interested in purchasing a battery pack instead of plugging the adapter into my laptop for easier usage.