Light Vest on hold

After an unfortunate amount of noodling around with the light vest, I still haven’t been able to optimize all cost components — the weatherproofed lights, shipping, and (unexpectedly) the fabric pouches — to the point where manufacturing vests for sale makes sense. My margin of profit would be small enough that even a single return would wipe out many units of sale. So, while I intend to revisit this later, I’m going to put the light vest as a for-sale product on hold for now. Fortunately, a lot of the core code is repurposeable, and will show up in future efforts.

Most notably, a LOT of the sample Arduino code I’ve seen in the wild takes a form of “Do something, sleep a fixed time, do something else, sleep some more.” For animation-type efforts, I’m not a fan of this approach. This left me two choices: implement animation logic that detects time since last loop run and adjusts accordingly, or try to implement a fixed-framerate loop. I went with the latter, and have already seen it useful on multiple projects. While my current version simply implements a videogame-style fixed-framerate (with blind catchup — if the frames spill too long, it will crank the framerate to max trying to catch up, but will never “give up” if it simply cannot recover; at that point, it will just run with minimum frame delay), I hope to come back to it later and do some intelligent decision-making to put the CPU to sleep when I can and cut the power consumption a bit.

On Hold

Never fear, though — there are plenty of other projects that currently look more promising still in-flight. Most of these involve iOS, so there’s a significantly larger market than “folks who want to pay $100+ for an animated LED vest.”

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