5 Wearable Projects You Can Build With a Raspberry Pi
It can be said with some certainty that the Raspberry Pi is a flexible little device. Whether you’re rocking a Raspberry Pi Model A+ or B+, a Raspberry Pi 2 or even a Raspberry Pi Zero (or a combination of several), there’s a good chance that you’ve spent a few hours learning how to use computers in several new ways, picking up some new skills along the way.
But have you ever thought about wearing your Raspberry Pi? Well no, of course you haven’t. After all, you’re perfectly normal.
Just in case you think that strapping a credit card-sized PCB to your arm (pun intended) is an exciting prospect, you’ll be pleased to know that various Pi-based wearable projects await your attention and interpretation. Let’s take a look at 3 wearable Raspberry Pi projects (which can all be powered using a portable battery solution ).
Raspberry Pi Does Google Glass
Perhaps the most famous wearable hardware is Google Glass, the privacy-breaching prototype and later limited release headset equipped with augmented reality. Indeed, Google Glass could almost be described as notorious, such was the reaction to it, from a professor assaulted by fast food restaurant employees to modern day Luddites in San Francisco.
But none of these things have stopped DIYers trying to build their own Google Glass, usually opting for a Raspberry Pi as the device’s brain.
In this example, the builder has used a 3D printed Raspberry Pi case with a belt clip, and loaded an Altoids tin with batteries and a power switch. Sadly he uses video glasses, which means that walking and using the device display at the same time isn’t practical, but it’s a step in the right direction.
You might also be interested in this more streamlined version, which also uses a 3D printed case and video glasses, but the execution is far more elegant.
There’s no way in the world that you would be able to squeeze a Raspberry Pi into a fitness band, but this doesn’t mean that the compact computer cannot be used to track your outdoor pursuits. In this video, you can see how a Pi, coupled with a Kindle e-reader , are used to convey speed and distance to the cyclist.
One particular point to note is how the display is readable while cycling. This is in part due to the size, but also the fact that the Kindle display uses e-Ink, and is therefore quite legible even in sunlight.
It’s certainly more readable than a smartphone!
This Is Not a Smart Watch
The Raspberry Pi is surely too bulky for a smartwatch, right? Well, it depends how you look at things. After all, an Apple Watch relies heavily on its associated iPhone. The only difference is, the two devices are not wired together.
Following the big smartwatch fuss of 2014, Pi developer Alex Eames put this together:
Intended as a spoof, it seems that some thought that the idea had potential, albeit not in its demonstrated form. Next came 3D printed cases, followed by Raspberry Pis strapped to arms around the planet.
It seems that as silly as it may be, the idea has given a lot of inspiration, such as this example, of a small smartwatch sized LCD displaying the time, powered by a Raspberry Pi B+ .
This is clearly a Raspberry Pi wearable that is going to happen soon, one way or another…
Bonus: Playboy Industrialists Take Note
While the Raspberry Pi isn’t the focus of this following video, it’s a major element of this Iron Man suit (and let’s face it, he’s had a few ), which is – amazingly – built largely from card.
Here, the Raspberry Pi is at the heart of a lot of activity, the most noticeable being the MP3 files that are played when actions occur (such as the voice of Jarvis, or to herald the illumination of the hand repulsors). While this might be a cosplayer’s dream, it’s also a hugely inventive use of the Pi as an element of a larger wearable project.
It might be a very ambitious build, but where would we be without a goal?
Do you plan to try any of these Raspberry Pi wearable projects? Perhaps you already have? Tell us all about it in the comments.