Press Releases

New element14 Design Competition Aims to Re-Invent the Hat

“Hats Off” Challenge will feature the Adafruit GEMMA and accessory pack

July 16, 2014 – CHICAGO – element14, along with partner Adafruit, today announces the launch of the new “Hats Off” global design challenge. Participants will re-imagine the hat into new wearable technology solutions that provide real-world functionality using the Adafruit GEMMA and an accompanying accessory pack.

The Adafruit GEMMA is a tiny Arduino-compatible sewable microcontroller 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.

“Technology is increasingly becoming more up-close and personal,” said Dianne Kibbey, Global Head of Community, element14. “To date, many wearable technology devices have not provided the real-world solutions needed to bring them to the forefront. With the potential offered by wearables in medicine, personal security, fashion and more, we believe our 250,000-member Community is ideally equipped to create devices that will become an essential part of our future.”

Along with the Adafruit GEMMA, the competitors in the challenge will be provided with the following:

  • 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 - 25 meter/85 ft
  • 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

The recruitment period, which starts today, will conclude August 4. A total of 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 will receive an Oculus Rift from element14 and one complete FLORA Collection parts pack from Adafruit.

“The bite-sized GEMMA wearable microcontroller is a perfect companion to element14’s latest design challenge,” said Becky Stern, Director of Wearable Electronics at Adafruit. “We’re excited to see what ideas emerge and all of the projects come to life through our partnership with element14.”   

For more information on the “Hats Off” design challenge, visit the homepage.  


About the Premier Farnell Group

Premier Farnell plc (LSE:pfl) is a global leader in high service distribution of technology products and solutions for electronic system design, production, maintenance and repair. It trades as Farnell element14 in Europe, Newark element14 in North America and element14 across Asia Pacific. With sales last year of £968m, the Group is supported by a global supply chain of more than 3,500 suppliers and an inventory profile developed to anticipate and meet its customers’ needs.

Premier Farnell works with key strategic suppliers to bring to market development kits in a variety of applications, enabling it to support the customer from design concept through to production.

The latest products, software, services and solutions from trusted supplier partners are all available through 43 local language transactional websites, with customer support provided by degreed engineers. The element14 Community allows buyers and engineers to access a wide range of independent technical information, tools and the latest resources.

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