Thursday, June 26, 2003

True wearables

IFM's electric plaid changing fabric The ever observant, and thoughtful, Fabio passes along this news story about electric plaid, which I mentioned briefly in this post in May. Even if some e-textiles may still be too stiff to wear, I had the pleasure of being able to touch and see some of IFM's electronic textiles at a conference last year, and they really are remarkable, soft and beautiful. As Joey Berzowska pointed out, for wearable computers to truly be wearable, they need to get away from the cyborg variety and become wearable in the same ways our clothes are. In other words, clothes are the oldest wearable technologies and we should be putting out efforts into extending them electronically - a perspective much more in sync with Mark Weiser's vision of ubiquitous computing that "disappears" into the background.

See also: Georgia Tech Topological Media Lab (especially TGarden) and for more hardcore science, see DARPA's e-textile research and Virginia Tech e-Textiles Group

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