Sunday, 2 December 2012

SquareWear: An Open-Source Wearable Electronics Board

"SquareWear is an open-source microcontroller board specially designed for wearable electronics projects. It is small in size, low-cost, simple to use, and provides an all-in-one solution for wearable electronics projects. It builds on Microchip’s PIC18F14k50 mcu, and comes with a few different colors and two battery options. The coin version has a built-in 20mm coin battery holder and measures 1.6″x1.7″ in size; the li-po version uses an external li-po battery and measures only 1.6″x1.6″ in size."

The board alone is $16.66,which at today's rates equates to £13.80 which I think is quite good for a self contained USB enabled micro controller.
Although this was designed for wearable electronics it is so cheap and small that I can see it being used in all manner of other application.
One that immediately springs to mind is fitting them under rubbery surfaces to be used as drum pads, or embedding them in old or cheap keyboards to add USB or even MIDI control.
If this had been around 10 years ago I would have built one into my model of the Millennium Falcon to control the flashing lights etc. I can imagine using it as the payload in a rocket or model aircraft, micro drone control, Ohh I am starting to dribble at the ideas. I can even see me putting one on the cats collar, although I have no idea why, except that he is Persian and likes cool things too.
If Father Christmas reads then this then one of these in a cracker rather than some crappy plastic comb would go down really well.


Microcontroller Microchip PIC18F14K50 @ 12MHz
Programmer Built-in USB
Bootload Driver HID class, no driver needed
Serial Comm. Built-in USB CDC Serial
General I/O 8 general I/O (6 can be used as analog input) + 4 high-current output
High-current 4 outputs with 500mA MOSFET sinks
PWM Support Software PWM on 8 pins and hardware PWM on 1 pin
Push-button 1 general-purpose push-button with software reset feature
Program IDE MPLAB X, cross-platform IDE with code completion, navigation etc.
Memory Size 16KB flash, 768B RAM, 256B EEPROM
Power Options On-board 20mm coin or external li-po
Li-po Charger Built-in (on li-po version)

Full details and prices from

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