Halloween: Hacking as a Holiday Tradition

Halloween has become one of the most popular days of the year… for adults.

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Evil Mad Scientist and Tesla Gun courtesy of HacknMod.

Long gone are the days in which the best costumes are purchased at the corner drug store.  The fall holiday has become a playground for makers, nerds, and even moms and dads.  (Watch this glowy zoey costume video courtesy of Visual Burrito via YouTube). Adorable. What a great dad!

Royce Hutain of Huntington Beach, Calif., made an LED Minnie Mouse costume for his daughter Zoey.


With the ever-emerging availability of open source devices such as the chipKIT boards, LEDs, and software paired with sensors (like our Pmods), the possibilities are vast as one’s own imagination.  The best part is you simply need a unique idea, and there are plenty of resources to help you achieve your goal…or ghoul.      ,

Below are a few of my favorite tech-enhanced costumes and some links to a few more in case you’re looking for an idea to hack and make your own.

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Tyler Card’s Nikon costume.

Click here for a full-length picture of Tyler Card’s fully functioning Nikon DSLR costume.

If you don’t have a lot of time to make a full-body, labor-of-love outfit like Tyler’s, you might want to try out one of Mark Rober‘s ideas that uses your cell phone. Some are understated and just plain creepy, while other have a surprise-scare factor.  I already have some ideas of my own on how to hack this, and I bet you will too after you watch his video.  This guy is a creepy, crazy genius!

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Movies are also a great idea generator.  The movie Mad Max: Fury Road was released earlier this year to great fanfare and is sure to make a showing on Halloween night.

If you’re a movie buff, I found an awesome article, 30 Greatest Movie Themed Halloween Costumes, that you’ll want to check out.  Everything from WALL-E to The Shining is there…

Movies and Halloween are a perfect combination for DIY costumes. Picture courtesy of worldwideinterweb.com.

And, if all else fails this costume (see below) works in a pinch.

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Do you see the Linux penguin, Tux, caught in the cobwebs?

Have a safe and happy Halloween and check out our Halloween sale on now through 10/31/15!  Click here to see the blog post that talks about specific items we’re offering for 25% off.  It’s a special selection of products ideal for your creation regardless of the theme — funny, iconic or terrifying. Turbo-approved, of course.

Halloween Turbo

If you’ve got a great idea or you’ve seen one and you’d like to share, please let me know in the comments below. I’d love to see what you’ve come up with and I may just have a few boxes of pretty cool Digilent Swag for those that leave me a comment.




Wired Article 7 –  Halloween Costumes With High-Tech Appeal

Paralles Blog – Top 10 Halloween Costumes for Techies 

Creativity Design Science –  24 EASY Hi-Tech Halloween Costumes for 2015 – from Mark Rober

Ideas from the Huffington Post – Halloween Party Ideas


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