[gallery] I'm currently at #sxsw interactive in Austin soaking in all the ideas, conversations and people. I was pleasantly surprised when R/GA's Will Turnage stood up in his talk with Chloe Gottlieb titled The Refrigerator Speaks: The Secret Language of Things to show off his awesomely smart "rocker" garment. To make a point about hacking into #smartthings, he created a smart shirt equipped with a Lilypad, Bluetooth, and lights that could be controlled by your cell phone. Punch in some commands and the lights would illuminate. He even added gestures. Tilt the phone right and the right side of the shirt would light up. Tilt left, and the left would light up. He then explained how he used Twitter's APIs to allow for the audience to tweet commands. Through the rest of the presentation, his shirt would light up as people tweeted about the presentation.
Turnage does a great job demonstrating how, as designers, we can take objects and services, augment them and combine them in interesting ways to create new and meaningful experiences. What are other ways to do this?
Check out this book they recommend referenced during their talk: Smart Things: Ubiquitous Computing User Experience Design by Mike Kuniavsky.
Get a summary my sxsw visit so far on the Artefact blog.