Social Wearable Projects

Here are a few interesting projects that use wearable technology to mediate social interactions:

Pong Prom, by Edward Keeble (2009)

In Edward Keeble’s Pong Prom, two users wearing technology-enabled hoodies play a game of Pong by slow-dancing with eachother.  The whimsical and physically intimate ‘entry requirements‘ into the experience (the slow-dance), coupled with the game of LED pong that is simultaneously collaborative and competitive, culminates in a meaningful experience that is socially connective. Pong Prom “creates a framework which allows participants to connect, both physically and virtually, and determine the course and quality of the interaction on their own.”

Pong Prom employs a Lilypad Arduino to control all aspects of the gameplay, using patches of conductive fabric on the shoulders, hips, and cuffs of the hoodies to trigger the game. Data from an accelerometer mounted on the neck of the hoodie is used as a game paddle/ joystick (making it necessary for the user to rock their partner back and forth while playing).

Massage Me
By Mika Satomi and Hannah Perner-Wilson

In Massage Me, a wearable vest, embedded with touch sensors, is used as a video game interface that is activated by a second user’s massaging hands, turning “video game player’s excess energy into a back massage for an innocent bystander”. Like Pong Prom, Massage Me makes it  necessary for the two users to enter into a more physically intimate  interaction, in order to trigger the experience.

Soft switches are embedded into the back of the vest, and signals from these switches are analyzed to create control signals which are sent to a hacked Playstation controller.

Co-Dependent Gloves
By Fiona Carswell

Co-Dependent Gloves consists of two pairs of winter gloves
embedded with heating elements, which warm up only when
two wearers‘ fingers are interlocked. While modern winter clothing
has made warming during cold weather a very independent activity,
this project evokes a more primal warming strategy — sharing of
body heat.

When wearers interlock their fingers to hold hands, an electronic
soft circuit is completed, activating heat panels within the gloves.
I like the subtle choice of using fingerless gloves for this project,
which necessitates skin contact while performing the interaction.

Leave a Reply

A sample text widget

Etiam pulvinar consectetur dolor sed malesuada. Ut convallis euismod dolor nec pretium. Nunc ut tristique massa.

Nam sodales mi vitae dolor ullamcorper et vulputate enim accumsan. Morbi orci magna, tincidunt vitae molestie nec, molestie at mi. Nulla nulla lorem, suscipit in posuere in, interdum non magna.