MetaWear is a tiny development board meant for people who want to create or hack their own wearable tech. The Kickstarter project raised its funding goal of US$8 000 within the first 24 hours and, with 25 days yet to go, is still going on strong — currently at US$30 000.
The open-source device is like a Raspberry Pi but super small. A lot smaller. It’s about the size of a US quarter or 17mm x 26mm to be exact. “A Raspberry-PI doesn’t fit into a necklace, a bracelet, or a shirt,” echoes the project page. MetaWear does.
It’s pretty amazing, especially considering all the specs such a small device can carry. The hardware board includes an ARM Cortex M0, BLE, a 3-axis accelerometer, an RGB LED, a buzzer, a coin vibrator, a temperature sensor, a micro-button, a USB rechargeable battery, and GPIOs. It also has 256KB flash memory and 8KB RAM.
A device like this paves way for people’s creativity to tinker and test out new creations that could potentially be groundbreaking. Think of all the great stuff Raspberry Pi has allowed us to conceive.
Once fitted to your choice of clothing or accessory, you can connect MetaWear to your iPhone or Android via bluetooth in order to programme different actions. Some given examples include the ability to design a headband into a fashionable accessory that counts calories and miles, or let your wristband vibrate whenever you get an email, and so forth.
MetaWear is engineered to be cheap and easy-to-use. You can pre-order it for US$30 and get it up-and-running right out the box “in less than 30 minutes”, the site says. “Simply download or fork the app on Github and with the MetaWear board you have a production quality prototype from the start. Customize the Android or iOS App any way you like.”