Make an IoT wearable t-shirt that sparkles with data using MQTT and Ably

Make an IoT wearable t-shirt that sparkles with data using MQTT and Ably

Jan 5, 2022

Make an internet connected t-shirt with LEDs that respond to realtime data

In summary:
We will make a wearable, flexible LED array which will change colour in realtime as users draw on an app. It uses the Ably MQTT broker and the Ably Javascript SDK along with addressible RGB LEDs and an Adafruit wifi enabled microprocessor. We change the colour of individual LEDs sewn on the t-shirt, by sending realtime updates data with Ably's messaging platform to an Arduino via MQTT.

This video talk covers building your own LED matrix from scratch and connecting it up with a microprocessor. We talk about how to connect the microprocessor to wifi and how to use the MQTT protocol, a small amount of C (for the microprocessor) and some Javascript to connect it up to a realtime data stream. In this case the data will be coming from the audience using a web app that allows them to select pixels on the tshirt and change their colour, but it could be any data stream. All hardware hacking experience welcome, none required! The aim of the talk is to demystify hardware for webdevs and to encourage people to give IoT a try.

See the source code:

What is Ably?
Ably is an edge messaging platform that makes it easy to build digital experiences like virtual live events, realtime financial updates, and synchronized collaboration. There’s no complex infrastructure to manage or provision. Just simple APIs and SDKs that handle everything realtime with absolute dependability, and lets you focus on your code.