Review: The Sebbo – An Arduino-Controlled LED Wristband

I was contacted the other day by the team behind The Sebbo – a new Arduino-compatible and fully hackable RGB LED bracelet – a project which will be hitting Kickstarter soon. They asked if I would do a preliminary review before their campaign launched. I liked the idea, so I was only too happy to oblige. This is a review in two parts; the first, which you are reading, is the initial impression, obvious questions, and relevant factoids. The second part will be a hands-on evaluation of The Sebbo using a review unit that we  probably won’t receive until the campaign is over. With luck, however, we may obtain the genuine article a good deal sooner, and give you – our readers and their potential backers – more information.

In order for The Sebbo to enter production the team behind it needs a minimum of 1000 units, and a goal of $30,000, which is why they’ve turned to Kickstarter to raise the funds, and to find those who may want a Sebbo of their own.

The campaign is designed with a number of rewards meant to entice backers to pledge more.
For instance:
– pledge $5, and one of the artists affiliated with Sebbo will use the bracelet to write your name (of 8 characters or fewer), which you will then get on a postcard
– pledge $15 and you shall receive a signed and numbered original screen print of Sebbo’s pretty circuits
– or pledge $40 and receive an actual Sebbo bracelet
As it tends to go with rewards, there’s quite a few more of them – ranging from essentially a thank-you card to a two-person adventure to dine with the team and attend the launch party.

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The Sebbo, as mentioned above is built on an Arduino platform. Which is to say that it uses a microcontroller and is thus a fully open-source, hackable, programmable gadget. Every unit carries 18 RGB LEDs each of which can be individually addressed, controlled, and programmed (which is pretty cool).
Each unit will  be pre-programmed to display the ‘light fantastic’ straight out of the box, but the user will also be able to program something like 100 colors – either by coding or by using the software made by Sebbo’s creators.

The armbands are slated to be lightweight, adjustable,  and equipped with a mini-USB and a rechargeable lithium-polymer battery. The durable Neoprene-and-nylon-sheathed circuit will house all of Sebbo’s electronics – including the 18 LEDs, the 9 shift registers to control them, the ATMEGA 32u2 processor, as well as a clock and a charging module.

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“The Sebbo is created on a completely custom designed printed flexible circuit with integrated LEDs, shift registers, USB port, CPU, and auxiliary electronic components. Although most people will enjoy the wristband the way it glows straight out of the package, many will be excited about the ability to hack the open source Arduino code and create their own color patterns and designs.”

Personally, I can see an infinite number of cool things that one could do with a Sebbo. Especially if the community of Sebbo owners and coders does come to fruition. Not only will they code their own wristbands, they can do get together and create human light installations of Sebbos programmed in a pattern. Like those masses of people at who form an image in the stands during sporting events, but brighter and more high-tech.

If you want to see a video of The Sebbo in action check this out, the video shows the various layers of The Sebbo including the circuit.

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You can find a gallery with more images here.

The social media-inclined amongst you may follow The Sebbo on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and even check out their thread on reddit at /r/Kickstarter. Oh and don’t forget to check out their website here.

The Sebbo hits Kickstarter on September 2. We will post an update to this article with the Kickstarter link once they have launched. I definitely think that The Sebbo will be an awesome toy for ravers, revelers, club-goers, and assorted fans of cool things that light up!

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