Wearable Absence: Intelligent Textiles Make Clothing the Device

By June 07, 2010 2 comments

It’s utterly possible that in a generation or so people won’t need to carry gadgets like smartphones or mp3 players around them, because these things will be integrated into their clothes. Intelligent textiles are still in

the experiment and development phase, and thus are far down the line. But recent innovations show the possibilities that are opening up in this fascinating area, from hoodies that connect to your Facebook page to devices that turn a user’s skin into a UI.

Wearable Absence falls into the former category. The project, by researchers at Concordia University in Montreal and the University of London, turns clothing into an information device that displays text and images as well as play sounds

There’s a good bit of theory behind Wearable Absence, centered on creating the narrative of an absent person.

“The invocation of visual and aural memory files are triggered by a passive process in which the user will not consciously participate but through the use of unobtrusive sensing devices that detect the physical state of the wearer,” according to the project’s website.

While this positions the clothing squarely in the tech/art category, it is one of growing number of examples of the ways we will interface with technology in the future.

In 1982, when the personal computer was Time Magazine’s Person of the Year, not many readers would have imagined that in less than thirty years people would be carrying powerful computers in their pockets. It’s not inconceivable to think that thirty years from now we’ll laugh at the fact that we ever carried devices at all.

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Interesting idea. Im sure the screens and hard devices will be removable to transfer to other articles of clothing. But some connection device must remain on the clothes. Im sure washing them will be challenging as to not damage the connection electronics.. Sounds expensive!

Submitted by Alex (not verified) - on June 29, 2010 at 08:56 am

I'm really starting to think that in 20-30 years, the device will be integrated into the clothing/body.

Submitted by admin - on June 29, 2010 at 03:03 pm

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