5 Wearable Projects You Can Build With a Raspberry Pi

Christian Cawley 07-12-2015

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 5 Things Only a Raspberry Pi 2 Can Do The latest edition of the pint-sized computer is awesome. So awesome, in fact, that there's 5 things you can only do on a Raspberry Pi 2. Read More or even a Raspberry Pi Zero Raspberry Pi Launches $5 Model Zero: Here's How It Compares The Raspberry Pi foundation just announced the Raspberry Pi Zero: it's essentially a cut-down Raspberry Pi, with a price tag to match: each one costs $5. That isn’t a typo. Read More (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.


You might have made an old printer wireless How to Make Your Own Wireless Printer With a Raspberry Pi Want to turn an old printer into a wireless printer for your network? Here's how to make any printer wireless with a Raspberry Pi. Read More , built a stop-motion movie studio Make a Stop Motion Video Rig with a Raspberry Pi You don't need high end equipment to make your own movie: in this age of high resolution digital cameras or smartphones, anyone can have a go. Read More , or even a file server Turn Your Raspberry Pi Into An NAS Box Do you have a couple of external hard drives lying around and a Raspberry Pi? Make a cheap, low powered networked attached storage device out of them. While the end result certainly won't be as... Read More .

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 3 Raspberry Pi Battery Packs for Portable Projects A Raspberry Pi battery can make a regular Pi into a portable computer. You'll need one of these battery solutions to get started. Read More ).

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 3D Printing and Rapid Prototyping: Future or Fad? What went through your mind the first time you saw 3D printing in action? Did you think, "Hey that's moderately cool"? Or did you think, "Wow. I could build ANYTHING with that!" Read More case and video glasses, but the execution is far more elegant.

Raspberry Bike

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 Books Suck: Why I Love My Kindle More Than Dead Trees Modern e-readers hold thousands of novels, weigh next to nothing, have built in lights, and don't give you a concussion when they hit your nose. Read More , 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 Apple Watch Review & Giveaway The new Apple thing is finally out, but everyone was talking about the Apple Watch long before it was officially announced. Starting at $349 - we take a look, and have TWO to give away! Read More 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+ The Raspberry Pi B+ Is Here. What's Changed? Read More .

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 The Many Suits of the Amazing Iron Man Whether you've been exposed to Tony Stark and his amazing suit since the beginning of the comics, or you've only seen the Iron Man and Avengers movies, you can't help but enjoy him. Read More ), 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.

Related topics: Raspberry Pi, Wearable Technology.

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  1. Christian Cawley
    December 15, 2015 at 3:04 pm

    Six projects are listed: 5 plus 1. Each has a video. Count the videos, not the headings :)

  2. Sabastian
    December 15, 2015 at 1:47 pm

    What about the other 2 projects?

    • Sabastian
      December 15, 2015 at 1:49 pm I guess. I can count I swr.