Costume Switches and Triggers

Costume Switches and Triggers


When you think about electronics in your Halloween
or cosplay costume, you probably imagine that it does something when you do something; it’s
interactive. Today we’re talking tips and suggestions for adding triggers to your costumes
and props. First, we have switches. Simple momentary
pushbuttons and tactile switches can be added to any part of your costume, like the trigger
on your Portal gun, the back of your Star Trek communicator, or the fingers of a glove.
Adafruit carries all sorts of switches in different sizes and trigger styles.
If you want to detect a gesture, like dancing or waving a magic wand, you might try a simple
vibration sensor, which triggers each time the spring inside shakes around. For more
complex and precise gesture sensing, consider an accelerometer module like the FLORA nine-degrees-of-freedom
sensor. Sound is another popular trigger– you can
use the Adafruit electret microphone breakout to add audio-sensitivity to your microcontroller
project, or use a volume-activated inverter for EL wire projects.
Lastly, you can make sensors from nontraditional materials, like the velostat sensors on our
Firewalker Sneakers, made by taping a piece of conductive thread to each side and reading
the changing resistance as your foot steps down.
We wrote up all these tips with links and example projects on the Adafruit Learning
System; the link is in the description. What costumes are you building this year?
Let us know in the comments, and I’ll answer your questions on our live show each week
right here on YouTube. Thanks so much for watching, have a happy and safe Halloween,
and subscribe for more electronic costume techniques from Adafruit.

13 Replies to “Costume Switches and Triggers”

  1. 33 Views…wow. Becky, one problem. I want a hand combination to trigger a bright white LED, to call myself an apulapuchian robot.

  2. I have a question; I'm trying to create a head that has luminescent eyes. I'd like to use LED instead of Light Wire, so that's something to take into consideration. The big issue I have is that while one eye has a constant color, the other will change between four different color LEDs. I'd like to create some way to trigger the different color LEDs by using various switches/buttons/etc, but I'm unsure how to have one light color turn on while automatically turning the other off. What advice can you give me here?

  3. I'm fond of cap touch switches for my projects. HIding physical buttons look nicer on the finished prop and it adds a bit of magic to turn something on with a "magic touch" like with this Shadow Blade build – https://youtu.be/wlfq6KuxeZs

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