Read my full guide at the Particle Blog!

This guide will teach you everything you need to know to build your very own uni-creature wearable that reacts to real-time events from the Uber API. Check out this sweet magical hat zoo that came out of a workshop I taught recently, happily supported by Particle!

It’s a 3D printed unicorn horn on a shark hat that‌‌ lights up depending on the state of your Uber ride!

I am a software engineer. Code is my primary means of creating and solving. But I also love working with my hands and creating physical things, like making flowers from felt or folding origami. For the longest time, these were separate skills that I thought were completely unrelated.

And then one day, a coworker gave me a challenge: make a hat light up in response to realtime events from the Uber API. This simple ask launched me into a world I knew nothing about; 3D printing, microcontrollers, circuits, soldering, and more. It also allowed me to discover people in the maker community who are just as excited about taking their code from bits and pixels to circuits and cloth.

So, challenge accepted. This is Humphrey the Sharknicorn, and he’s very happy to meet you!

I was incredibly happy to discover that there has been a lot of effort to really make microcontrollers easy to use, robust, and flexible for makers to create whatever pops out of their imagination. I chose a Particle board to power this project because of how incredibly easy it was to make this device connect to the web — one line of code! This project was inspired by this incredibly well written unicorn hat tutorial from Adafruit, adapted to use the Particle Photon and my own bit of server code that receives events from the Uber API.

I believe that software engineers are chronic problem solvers, and when we learn how to pull our code beyond the screen, we expand our toolset, gain a new perspective on solving challenges and have more ways to inject delight into the everyday.

Continue reading my full guide at the Particle Blog!