An urban gaming accessory for your iPhone/iPod


Canadian Film's Interactive Arts and Entertainment Program designers Kathleen Climie, Rose Bianchini and David McCallum have created Neighbourhoodie, which merges physical street games with online games. "Be your own video game" they say in their demonstration video. I love how the designers are thinking of ways to connect the garments to a larger and richer online experience.

Here's how they describe it on their project site: "The Neighbourhoodie is a hooded sweatshirt that augments the experience of game playing through an electronic infrastructure mounted in the garment. Neighbourhoodie explores the hoodie as a platform; what if the garment familiar to teenagers could actually enhance experiences? What modes of interaction are inherent to the garment?

The garment has a basic infrastructure of proximity sensing, speakers, and lights to augment game play. The proof-of-concept prototype is an augmented game of tag, where players are alerted to the presence of other players through unique sounds, and are given information about players' states in the game by sounds as well as lights mounted on the garment."

Continue reading on Talk2MyShirt. Images from the designers' Flickr site.

Ping: a social networking garment

[gallery] Alas! I recently completed a project that I've been working on called Ping. It's a garment that connects to your Facebook account wirelessly and from anywhere. It allows you to stay connected to your friends and groups of friends simply by performing natural gestures that are built into the mechanics of the garments we wear. Lift up a hood, tie a bow, zip, button, and simply move, bend and swing to ping your friends naturally and automatically. No phone, no laptop, no hardware. Simply go about your day, look good and stay connected.

I'm investigating three important and emerging areas in wearable technology through this project:

Connection to larger systems The garment investigates ways to connect to larger software systems that can add more functionality and longevity to the experience while offering a new platform for communication and expression.

Aesthetics Rather than simply attaching technology to clothing, the project investigates garments that have electronics built directly into them resulting in a new aesthetic of form and behavior that become a core part of our expression, our identity, and our individuality.

Marketability Very few wearable technology projects successfully target consumers outside of the sports, medical and military fields. We are just not there yet. The project aims to generate market desirability for a wide variety of people to use in everyday life.

Project Site: Go to the project site to see the rest of the concept. Let me know what you think! I would love to hear form you.

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Interviews: AOL StylelistiHeartSwitch,

A dress that doubles as an eco-warning system

[gallery] Diffus founders Hanne-Louise Johannesen and Michel Guglielmi have designed and created this gorgeous dress that doubles as an eco-warning system. In collaboration with the design company and fashion designer Tine M. Jensen, embroiderer Forster Rohner and IT consultancy The Alexandar Institute, the dress titled Climate Dress includes embedded sensors that measures carbon dioxide in the air. 104 LEDs are sprinkled throughout the top of the garment and surrounded by embroidery. Light brightens and dims in a subtle "breathing" pattern to reflect how much pollution is in the air.

"The Climate Dress is made of conductive embroidery, over a hundred tiny LED lights inserted into the embroidey, a CO2 sensor and an Arduino Lilypad microprocessor. The LEDs visualize the level of CO2 in the nearby surroundings and are powered through the embroidery..." continue reading on

Main image from this month's (April 2010) Surface Magazine. Other images from

A connection while sleeping

Student Alexander Reeder at the NYU ITP program has created Dream Jammies, which explores the connection that can be made through natural sleep patterns across distances. A pair of pajamas are embedded with sensors that connect to your loved-one's phone. The phone displays an ambient color that represents the state of sleep.

"As you lay down to sleep, the screen fades from green to blue, the shade of blue reflecting your body temperature. As you roll around, the screen flickers red. By shaking the iPhone your partner is able to reach out, causing the chest of your pajamas to vibrate. Not pleasant while you sleep, but a perfect alarm clock. Not only are you able to keep in touch while living on opposite sides of the world, Dream Jammies offer insight into how you sleep by capturing data as you snooze." source

What's cool about this project is that Reeder is exploring how wearable technology can be connected to other devices. He is also considering the aesthetics of the circuitry in the garment itself by integrating the sensors into embroidery.

Jewelry as our home base

Mouna Andraos, in collaboration with Sonali Sridhar, has designed Address Necklace, which "is a handmade electronic jewelry piece. When you first acquire the pendant, you select a place that you consider to be your anchor – where you were born, your home, or perhaps the place you long to be. Once the jewelry is initialized, every time you wear the piece it displays how many kilometers you are from that location."

With our increasingly mobile and transient lives, the project helps to give a sense of home, or it helps us aspire to where we want to be. The necklace implementation is great since it allows you to take it will you everywhere no matter what you are wearing.

Capturing moments of excitement

(image source)

Designer Diana Eng created this heartbeat hoodie that captures moments of excitement throughout your day. It's equipped with a heart rate sensor and a camera that snaps a photo whenever your heart rate increases. The photos automatically upload to a blog that you can refer to or share with your friends. According to Eng, it is intended as a form of involuntary blogging.

What I love about this project is that it uses wearable technology as a way to sense and capture both reactions with our bodies and the context of our surroundings. Designers should constantly explore how technology can enable or enhance those relationships. Heartbeat hoodie succeeds in merging body sensing, environmental context, and social communication into a simple and beautiful concept.