Smart clothes offer emotional aid
- 4 June 2010
- From the section Technology
Smart clothes could soon be helping their wearers cope with the stresses of modern life.
The prototype garments monitor physiological states including temperature and heart rate.
The clothes are connected to a database that analyses the data to work out a person's emotional state.
Media, including songs, words and images, are then piped to the display and speakers in the clothes to calm a wearer or offer support.
Created as part of an artistic project called Wearable Absence the clothes are made from textiles woven with different sorts of wireless sensors. These can track a wide variety of tell-tale biological markers including temperature, heart rate, breathing and galvanic skin response.
Data is gathered passively and used to trigger a response from a web-based database previously created by the wearer. The clothes connect to the web via a smartphone.
When the wearer is detected as being in a particular emotional state, the database will send media to the clothes to help try to change a person's mood
To accomplish this, the clothes are fitted with display made of LEDs and have speakers built in to the hood. The display can show scrolling text or simple images and the speakers can replay music, sounds or pre-recorded messages from friends or family.
Developed by Barbara Layne from Concordia University in Canada and Janis Jefferies from Goldsmiths College's Digital Studios, the prototype garments were shown at the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences held in Montreal from 28 May - 3 June.
Earlier work by Professor Layne created jackets that knew when their owners were touching and changed the messages being displayed on the LED displays sewn into them.