Tinker Tie is a hackable LED bow-tie


The Tinker Tie is a fully-programmable, Arduino-compatible LED bow-tie that can last over 20 hours on a single charge.


Fred Astaire. Pee-Wee Herman. Bill Nye. Justin Timberlake. From celebs to businessmen, what’s not to love about the always classic look of the bow-tie? Although for years this ribbon of fabric has been made from silk, polyester, cotton or a mixture of materials, the Atom Computer crew is looking to bring the fashion accessory into the wearable tech era. Introducing the Tinker Tie.

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The Tinker Tie is a colorful and customizable device with 28 RGB LEDs that’ll surely add a little pizazz to your prom tuxedo, EDM concert attire or Halloween costume. Based on an Adafruit Pro Trinket (ATmega328), the piece can be programmed using the Arduino IDE and Adafruit NeoPixel library to emit countless color changes and animations as you illuminate the night.

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Data is received by the first LED, then sent through to the rest of the lights in a zig-zag pattern. Because of a special chip built into each LED, you can (magically) control an entire array of lights from only one data pin. Meanwhile, an integrated 500mAh LiPo battery pack provides over 20 hours of enjoyment on a single charge. Once it’s all drained out, simply plug in the Tinker Tie to your computer via USB and quickly refuel.

For its Kickstarter launch, the tie will ship in either fully assembled or kit form. And not only is it clearly an attention-grabbing fashion statement, it can be an excellent educational tool as well! Although the current PCB color for prototypes is green, the team hopes to upgrade to fancy black circuit boards in the very near future.

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Want to stand out at your next party? Want to light up the stage? Want to turn some heads at Maker Faire? Whatever your desire, you can head over to Tinker Tie’s page here.

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