Meet Ping, a new hoodie that could allow you to poke a friend, accept a friend request, and receive notification alerts, all via a fashionable garment. The hardware-free clothing item, created by entrepreneurial designer Jennifer Darmour, would link wirelessly to your Facebook account.
A potentially forthcoming app would allow the owner to customize gestures among friends. For example, the wearer might feel a tap on the shoulder when a comment is left on their Wall or be able to change a setting when a button is buttoned or zipper zipped.
I remember when a shirt was just a shirt, designed to protect the wearer from the sun. Somewhere along the way, probably thanks to our Egyptian friends (now sitting in tombs), clothing came to indicate social status. Imagine the respect you’ll get when you’re poking people without the use of a phone, laptop, or other device? Now that’s traveling light!
The item of clothing was designed using Lilypad Xbee with custom software to communicate with Facebook and is still in the concept phase.
What do you think about garments that connect to virtual networks?
I’m not sure if e-textiles are the wave of the future, but if it’s an excuse to dust off my multi-tasking Casio calculator watch, I’m game.