LED displays integrated into 'smart clothes'
Clothing has often been the uncomfortable bedfellow of technology, although this has historically resulted in some less than successful products. However, so-called smart clothes which integrate LED displays and advanced monitoring systems are more practical than most hybrid experiments.
The smart clothes are being developed as part of an ostensibly artistic initiative, although the fact that they are crammed with sensors and LED displays which can communicate information about the wearers wellbeing wirelessly might suggest that there is more than a touch of the scientific about the Wearable Absence project.
The idea is that the smart clothes will keep an eye on various physiological characteristics being exhibited by the wearer at any given time, including body temperature and pulse. This data will be streamed to an online service which the user can pre-program with set functions to activate when a particular condition is detected.
For example, if a person is showing signs that they are stressed, the smart clothes will provide soothing images via the LED displays, as well as displaying positive messages and offering calming music via integrated speakers. This is designed to initiate a mood change and ideally make the wearer feel rather more relaxed.
Researchers at Canada's University of Concordia have developed the smart clothes and a spokesperson said that the LED displays could play back scrolling text and uncomplicated images, which might include positive sentiments from close family members and friends of the wearer.
LED displays have been integrated into similar projects by Professor Barbara Layne, who also worked on the latest smart clothes initiative. In the past she has created clothes that could determine when two wearers were in contact with one another and then alter the text showing on integrated LED displays in order to reflect this scenario and provide some rudimentary feedback.