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New element14 design competition taps into wearable technology

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element14 Pty Ltd has partnered with Adafruit to launch the new ‘Hats Off’ global design challenge where contestants have to re-imagine the hat, converting it into a new wearable technology solution that provides real-world functionality using the Adafruit GEMMA and an accompanying accessory pack.

A tiny Arduino-compatible sewable microcontroller, Adafruit GEMMA is capable of lighting up a constellation of LEDs based on simple sensors and actions. Competitors will be encouraged to develop hat-like garments that provide functionality beyond shielding the wearer from sun or rain.

According to Dianne Kibbey, Global Head of Community, element14, wearable technology devices available today have not provided the real-world solutions needed to bring them to the market. Given the potential offered by wearables in medicine, personal security, fashion and more, element14 believes the 250,000-member element14 Community is ideally equipped to create devices that will become an essential part of the future.

Along with the Adafruit GEMMA, the competitors in the challenge will be provided with: Adafruit Micro Lipo - USB LiIon/LiPoly charger - v1; Lithium Ion Polymer Battery - 3.7v 500mAh; Four Flora RGB NeoPixels V2; Stainless Thin Conductive Thread - 2 ply – 25m; Photo cell (CdS photo-resistor); Small Alligator Clip Test Lead (set of 12); GEMMA miniature wearable electronic platform; USB cable - A/MiniB - 3ft; Tactile On/Off Switch with Leads; Fast Vibration Sensor Switch; Small Enclosed Piezo w/Wires.

Concepts for the Hats Off challenge can be submitted up to August 4, following which 10 competitors will be selected to build their designs and blog at the element14 design community, addressing their ideas and key challenges throughout the process. The competition will conclude October 31, 2014.

Competitors will be judged on their creativity, quality of documentation and the execution of their project. The grand prize winner of the Hats Off design challenge will receive an Oculus Rift from element14 and one complete FLORA Collection parts pack from Adafruit.

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