Toronto-based wearable technology firm, MeU, recently launched its wearable LED display, the MeU Square, for customizing clothing, bags and other accessories. Managed by a smartphone application, MeU Square enables the user to display any text, image, or pattern in order to instantly communicate with their surroundings.
“We seek to improve communication with our surroundings, including important alerts and updates that you may not get if you don’t have a smartphone, like when the next bus is coming,” says Robert Tu, CEO and founder of MeU. “The MeU Square is a great combination of function and design. The display’s open-source technology sets no limits to the designer’s creativity across many applications and is the perfect platform for the maker and developer communities.”
Cycling, urban informatics, marketing and fashion are the initial applications the MeU team is working on. Cyclists can use the completely customizable display to communicate with other road users by sending a flashing pattern, turn or stop signals to the panel placed on the cyclist’s back. The leader of a large hike or a group tour can quickly keep all participants informed about the next steps or a construction worker can wear a blinking pattern to better alert those passing by of himself and the potentially unsafe conditions. The ability to display public transit updates on the vests of employees or receive weather alerts from pedestrians all allow the city to run smoother. Having been featured in Toronto’s first men’s fashion week, the product can also portray a dynamic fashion statement.
The full-color LED matrix display consists of 256 LEDs, a microcontroller, and a Bluetooth radio that allows wireless communication with other devices. Being flexible and thin, the panel naturally conforms to the body and can be worn with any style of clothing. After downloading the smartphone app, the user can choose from existing icons, animations, and texts or create their own content to then send to the LED display.
“We’re looking for tech savvy developers, who are open to working with the initial developer kit,” adds Tu. “The kit includes the MeU Square, a rechargeable battery, a micro USB cable, and the MeU Demo Mobile App.”