Maker/Development
KeKeBoard wearable platform lets makers clothes the gap to smart apparel

In creating smart textiles, a lot of materials, soldering and sewing are needed. At this stage in smart textile production, though, the materials are large, the amount of soldering needed on delicate materials gets in the way of the garment’s form, and the amount of sewing needed is oftentimes tiresome. In short, making more comfortable, better looking smart clothing is missing something that could take the process of making it up a notch.

The KeKeBoard is a plug-and-play wearables platform designed specifically to address the many pain points found in smart textile creation and offer a wide range of options for makers, artists and engineers. Its use of proprietary, Teflon-insulated Ke cables come in at just .3mm in diameter — far smaller than the standard 3-pin JST connector cables common now. This allows for many more options in terms of textile selection and design.

Expanding on those options are the 12 microUSB ports on the KeKeBoard itself to which small modules can connect using the extremely thin Ke cables for added functionality while staying discreet. MP3, power, vibration, weather and LED pixel modules are just some of the choices available to tinkerers. Most of the modules are washable, too, making for a utilitarian piece of tech. A starter kit perk containing a KeKeBoard, one Pixel Mini module and two 100mm Ke cables goes for $17 while the recommended medium starter kit perk with many more modules goes for $76. Each is slated to ship in April 2016 should the KeKeBoard’s $2,000 goal be met by March 24th, 2016.

The KeKeBoard is a solid foot forward towards a more connected sartorial future in the vein of Intel’s Curie platform. Its plug-and-play versatility solves very relevant issues and allows for serious fare like connected cocktail dresses alongside more lighthearted endeavours like a detailed Halloween costume.

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