TECHNOLOGY IN THE WARDROBES! – High Tech Clothing – The Best Smart Clothing
Now, high-tech clothing is a virtual reality.
“Clothes form a part of and reflect our sense of self, whether it be consciously or subconsciously. They are not just about enveloping the body – they connect with memory, identity, history, ritual, cultural, race, sexuality and sensuality. They are about how we relate the realm of subjective experience to the objective world around us.”
Form and formality seem to have been put on the back burner and comfort and informality seem to have become the order of the day. Nowhere is this more conspicuous than in the way people dress – jeans and Tshirts to funerals and skivvies and pants to formal weddings. With each gadget, technology becomes more enmeshed in human life. A fresh invention brings technology even close. Clothes now tell you youʼve forgotten your keys or warn you when your wallet is stolen. A jogging suit puts you through your paces. Itʼs not the stuff of science fiction, but a five-year project by the Belgian research group ʻStarlabʼ to come up with a form of intelligent clothingʼ.
“The tracksuit monitors your starting to run. It configures data on your heartbeat. It plays a certain type of music and adapts the rhythm of the music to push you harder or slow you down,” said Dr Walter Van Velde, head of the scientific think tank whose embryonic designs could revolutionise clothing. “The mobile phone function in the clothing sends the data by an e-mail to your sports club, which receives the report on your training by the time youʼve taken your shower.”
Almost five years into its research, Starlabʼs ʻi-Wearʼ showed off its first prototype at its headquarters in Brussels where some 60 researchers from 28 countries work on projects ranging from artificial brains to time travel to intelligent clothing. At this initial stage, the prototype resembles a shirt composed of several layers with heat sensors and microphones tucked away in the cuffs and cuffs and collar to measure light and sound. The researchers explain that by putting a computer chip in your car keys which is then picked up and read by another in your shirt, the garment could easily recognise if this item was missing and alert the wearer.
British scientists are developing intelligent clothes that can have unobtrusive gadgets sewn into their fabric. Incorporated features so far include a bikini with an integrated MP3 audio player, a shirt with its own mobile phone and a ski jacket that warms up its wearer and tells skiers they are coming too close, to back off. For concerned parents there is a childʼs T-shirt with built-in global positioning, so their movements can be tracked.
TECH T-SHIRT – The Best Smart Clothing
Imagine a T-shirt that can programme music to suit your mood Or a T-shirt that can sense the onset of an allergic reaction and administer the necessary medication immediately. Dr S. Jayaraman has taken smart technology to a new level, bridging the gap between imagination and reality with the invention of the smart T-shirt. Leading a team of US engineers at Georgia Institute of Technologyʼs School of Textile and Fiber Engineering, Dr Jayaraman has invented the worldʼs first computerised smart shirt, which can monitor heart rate, respiration, blood oxygen, temperature and caloric burn. With each new gadget, technology becomes more enmeshed in human life. A fresh invention brings technology even closer. Weʼre referring to shirts that bear technology. No, we donʼt mean shirts with pockets meant to carry cellphones.
Here comes the hotspotter – Smart And Comfortable High-Tech Clothing
The folks at ʻThinkGeekʼ have taken mercy on all those who need to keep fishing out of their notebooks and handsets to detect Wi-Fi signals, by coming up with a shirt that does the job. It does so with some style too. The shirt has an animated display resembling signal waves that fluctuate depending on the strength of the signal. So all one has to do to find out where a Wi-Fi hotspot is to take a look at oneself!
And, if you are looking for a shirt with tech, you could try out Dr Richard Helmerʼs Wearable Instrument Shirt. It is actually a Tshirt with electronic sensors woven in. What these sensors do is map movements by the wearerʼs arms and turn them into musical notes with the help of a computer. For instance, a wearer can become a guitar player by simply pretending to play the instrument. One can play any way one wants. If you want to feel like a heavy metal star, just wave your hands in the air and jump about. Donʼt laugh, but the Hug shirt could well emerge as the next popular cellphone accessory. Itʼs actually a Bluetooth-enabled shirt that has sensors embedded in it that allow you to send hugs to people. All you need to do is hug yourself and then transmit it. The shirt feels the touch, the warmth of the skin and the heartbeat rate of the sender and then transmits these using the senderʼs cellphone (which is linked to it by Bluetooth) to another cellphone user wearing a similar shirt.
And, if your idea of having fun is lying outside and soaking up the sun, do have a go at Andrew Schneider’s Solar Bikini, which comes studded with flexible solar cells that allow you to charge your iPod or MP3 player even while you are sunbathing. And, for the lads, Schneider is working on a part of solar-powered shorts that will allow them to chill a can of beer or any other packed fluid whose temperature you feel inclined to reduce.
For those terrified of getting sweat stains on the garments, the USB Air conditioned Shirt is a must-have. The shirt comes with a couple of USB-powered fans that blow fresh air inside your shirt when you plug the shirt into a USB port. It might make you appear a trifle inflated but will definitely keep you fresh and cool. However, the fans wonʼt function when you are in the sunny outdoors, unless you carry a laptop you can plug it into.
At last, a shirt with a keen sense of music called the T-Qualizer, it comes with an inbuilt sound-sensitive graphic equaliser pandel and has a graphic equaliser printed on its surface. But this is no mere drawing – it’s actually an electroluminescent panel that lights up and moves according to the beat of music, just as it would on your hi-fi sound system. If this does not grab eyeballs on the dance floor, nothing will. These are just samples of what the tech-tailor has in mind. There is also talk of shirts with video displays embedded in them (the ʻTubeshirtʼ). And then there are shirts that can tell you the way, thanks to GPS transmitters embedded in their buttons. Levi Strauss has launched a new line of trousers which, it claims, protects against radiation emitted by the mobile phones. Called icon ʻS-Fitʼ, they are fitted with pockets which have anti-radiation lining.
ʻDigital wardrobeʼ by Chantal Mora, is made of an RFID tracking system, a database, and an interface. Take a picture of the garment, put an RFID reader that detects the tags in each piece of clothing and sends the information to the PC. You can view the garment narrative on your PC – when the item was last worn, how it was accessorised, how much it cost, how often the piece has been worn, etc. The pundits keep telling us how technology is becoming an integral part of our lives. And, well, after grabbing our desks, ears, pockets and laps, technology now seems to be making its way into our wardrobes. And no, we are not talking about hi-tech manufacturing processes, but about clothes that actually have technology built into them. You know, like the stuff that Agent 007 James Bond wears – well, all right, maybe you wonʼt be able to detonate a bomb by touching your cuff link with your left pinkle, but well, you can still do a fair bit of tech wizardy if you are wearing the right threads!