Flexible, interactive LED displays integrated into quirky t-shirts
LED displays have been featured in clothing in the past but the latest developments made at a Canadian university have shown that using the technology can allow people to play interactive games when they are out and about.
Researchers from Queens University in Ontario have built t-shirts with LED displays and wireless receivers which let the wearers play a game they have dubbed 'TagURIt'.
As the name suggests there is an element of tagging involved in the game, with wearers able to transmit virtual avatars from their t-shirt to that of another, instantly displaying them on the LED display.
The LED display is fairly simple, with a 14x14 pixel resolution developed using Philips Lumalive e-textile technology. Perhaps the most impressive thing is that the t-shirts can be shoved in the wash without having to worry about the LED display becoming damaged in the process.
At the moment the avatars involved in the TagURIt game come from the Super Mario universe. When one player is close enough to touch another the avatar will automatically leap onto their target's t-shirt, indicating that the tag has been completed.
Two players can attempt to keep a special avatar away from a third and Professor Roel Vertegaal said that it was similar to soccer in this respect, although he admitted it was quite challenging for newcomers.
At the moment this is not a product which consumers will be able to buy, because in total the technology required to kit out three players for a game will cost around ï¿½12,200. However, Prof. Vertegaal believes that this will eventually be reduced to around ï¿½61, at which point he thinks much wider uptake will occur, with many consumers wearing interactive LED displays on their t-shirts as they go about their lives.