Stitch Fest - a different kind of Hackathon.
Stitch Fest took place during and in conjunction with PennApps, the premier college hackathon hosted every semester at the University of Pennsylvania. StitchFest was offered in Spring 2014 and Fall 2014. We invited PennApps participants to push the frontiers of low-power computing, data analytics, and interactive media to design the next generation smart wearables for sports, leisure or business settings. Teams worked with the LilyPad Arduino, an electronic textile construction kit, and a set of components such as a wireless module, various sensors and actuators ready to interface with the kit. All materials were provided to teams free of charge thanks to the generous support of IBM.
Spring 2014's design challenge, "Wear and Care", focused on new kinds of wearables—outfits, costumes and accessories— that respond to our daily challenges. From airbags disguised as bike helmets to gym clothing that play songs according to our mood and activity, smart wearables combine creative technologies and personal expression into bold, colorful and useful designs.
Fall 2014's design challenge, "Stitch and Assist", focused on assistive applications. Participants created wearables such as a bike helmet that increases safety by allowing the user to signal, a shirt designed to sense potential points of injury on athletes, and an armband that would allow climbing groups to safely and reliably communicate.
Stitchfest is part of "eCrafting.org", an online community located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. The group brings together expertise from learning sciences, digital media design, computer science and informal science education. eCrafting.org integrate engineering and technology into science education using e-textiles to catalyze online creative collectives.