From watches to glasses, you may have thought you’ve seen it all when it came to wearable technology. In an attempt to demonstrate that wearables don’t necessarily need to be confined to the wrist or face, two students at New York University’s Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP) explored innovative ways fabric could be used with electronics. Using an Atmel based Arduino and an Arduino GSM shield, the pair designed what they call the “Smart Hoodie,” a hooded sweatshirt that can respond to various gestures — touching the hood, touching a sleeve and rolling up a sleeve, each of which send a different text message to a pre-programmed contact.
“The future of communication is in our hands… or arms not just our fingers,” the Makers suggest. As demonstrated in the video below, though the Smart Hoodie may currently be used for texting friends and family, there are several other obvious uses, such as texting in the event of an emergency.
“The concept of putting the technology behind a cell phone into something truly wearable and everyday is what this project stands to represent.”
As chips continue to get smaller and cheaper, we can expect to see more and more of our clothing (like hoodies) become smarter in the years to come. “There are already tons of products available that have technology embedded into them. Fashion offers people a chance to communicate their personality with the outside world. Mobile phones customization is an example of fashion blending into technology. So why can’t technology interactions blend with fashion? Tech and fashion needs to come together in a way that the user will want to wear technology and not have to,” the Makers recently told PSFK.
Interested in having a Smart Hoodie of your own? Sign up here.