Taking inspiration from Adafruit’s guide for a NeoPixel manicure, Christine Farion recently shared a tutorial for color-sensing wearables on her website. The post features a video walkthrough along with step-by-step instructions and a full list of necessary materials. Included in that list are, of course, the NeoPixels as well as a Gemma M0 board, a color sensor, and a 3.7V battery with a 150 mAh LiPo or larger, depending on what you’re comfortable wearing. In the finished product, the LEDs will light up and play a sample light script or use the color sensor to detect and display a sampled hue.
The sensor works by emitting light from a transmitter, then detecting the light reflected back from a chosen object or surface. Both the NeoPixel and the sensor are built into a circuit, and the coding necessary to get all this working is detailed in the post. First, configuring and testing the NeoPixel, then the sensor, and finally combining the two into one script. The rest of the hardware work is accomplished by sewing and soldering, making a finished circuit and designing the fabric of the wearable itself.
Potential customizations and add-ons include fabric customizations, such as the lace added to the wearable cuff in the above image, a button to reset the circuit and activate the color sensor, a charger circuit, so the battery doesn’t have to be removed, and anything else you can think to complement the fun, colorful design.