Whoa board promises to build an open source wearable prototype board that turns any EL (Electro-Luminescent) material into a touch sensor with no additional hardware. The board will be Arduino IDE compatible making it easy and familiar to code with.

 

whoa-board

This touch sensing is accomplished by a novel high voltage tolerant capacitive sensing circuit. This circuit is fast enough to perform measurements while the EL material (be it EL wire, tape, panel or paint) is glowing, and sensitive enough to detect capacitive changes resulting from motion in wearable EL elements. This technology has already been used to create:

  • Motorcycle jackets with integrated turn signals that can be triggered with the shrug of a shoulder.
  • Egress lighting that can be triggered anywhere with touch
  • Fabric music controllers
  • Motion sensitive performance wear.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1WWBzdcJeuc

It is also wireless ready (enabling the development of mesh networked wearables), and can perform capacitive measurements on EL driven from an integrated or an external supply.  It can be powered from any 3-6v supply, and is programmable directly over micro-usb.

The Whoa Board is currently on Kickstarter, where it has been backed by over 250 people.