T-shirts have long been vehicles of personal expression. Be it your faded old Slayer T, your snippet of snark brashly emblazoned across your chest, your favorite comic book character set to fabric, or just your plain old white vest replete with a few coffee stains; your t-shirt tells people something about who you are. So what if you could change it, constantly, by making it digitally interactive?
Sounds like an idea one could only come up with while drinking? Well, perhaps that’s what the folks at Cute Circuit were doing when they teamed up with Whiskey-maker Ballentine’s to create T-Shirt OS, the world’s first connected clothing concept that actually looks cool and worth wearing.
London based Cute Circuit has previously made a name for itself with flashy (think LEDs) fabrics and creepy concepts like shirts that can hug you via text message, but this latest project combines every wacky idea into one.
The firm wants to turn the t-shirt into the most creative canvas it can, made up of a large LED screen, camera, microphone, accelerometer and speakers for sound.
The T-shirt itself would act as a thin client with a small electrical brain, that can be paired up with the much larger processor in a person’s cell phone to make it the most “wearable, shareable, programmable” piece of clothing ever created.
What could you do with such an adaptable shirt? Connect it to Twitter, display your photos, status updates, play your music, take snaps of people on the go, the options are almost endless.
The current version of the T-shirt is controlled by iOS but an Android version will be available later, the company says.
Of course, right now, it’s just a prototype, and not a cheap item to buy by any means, but Cute Circuit believes that could change. The firm is asking for feedback on its idea, and claims it will look into producing the shirts in volume if demand reaches a certain level.
Actually, the question it really begs is, “can you wash it?” Because I don’t care how awesomely digital you are, if you smell, I’m not coming within 10 feet of you. (actually, Cute Circuit says the T-shirt is hand washable if battery is removed... phew!)
Check out the video below and then tell us what you think in the comments.
This design contains 32*32 LED's. First clever design.Initially i thought it is with an OLED display which is flexible. Also an idea the T-Shirt can be added with optical fibres illuminated by multicolor LED's giving bigger effect.
I wondered 20 years ago when this was finally going to happen. It's still not quite what I originally envisioned, but it is a huge leap towards it. I imagined the entire shirt as a static/dynamic display - The color, patterns, everything to the point you wouldn't even know it was a programmable shirt if it only displayed a static pattern - plaid, stripes, polka-dots, or tacky tag line. But ladies beware the hacker who breaks into your shirtOS and sends the rgb code for transparency.
wearable tech is not necessarily new, Bert, you're right, but making it accessible to the masses, and creating a buzz around it to generate mainstream interest is. As we can see from some of the cool suggestions you guys have, the possibilities are pretty vast, and this is just the beginning. I reckon that in 10 years, these will be a norm... we're right on the crest of this wearable wave. So exciting!
And too, everyone around at the time will be alerted that something bad is happening right there? With the cell phone, only some distant contact would be alerted.
But the idea of wearable computers is not all that new, is it?
A really good application would be, perhaps, someone piloting a ship. No need to stand on the bridge, close to a control console. You wear the control console. You can walk around and send commands by moving your arms or hands, and you can use heads-up displays or glasses for for status displays.
What I like about the clothing is that you can set it up to make alarm images and sounds if your child feels threatened anywhere. These T-shirts could save a lot of children from being taken against their will.
Just a thought.
If everything appears on your T-shirt ( sometimes without your knowledge), You may be in for some embarrassing moments if you are in a wrong company.
But overall this idea is something evolutionary and may be good hit for the gennext