Friday, March 5, 2010

AwareFashion visualizes our invisible connections...

Richard Etter, Diana Grathwohl and Sigmund Homolya created AwareFashion, clothing that senses and visualizes today’s invisible, digital layer of wireless networks that surround us wherever we are. AwareFashion’s concept is based on the idea to visualize the digital environment we are living with, which surrounds use. All the radio waves, be it radio or TV broadcast, GSM for cellphones, WiFi, Bluetooth or GPS or other wireless systems. We can’t see, smell or feel radio waves but sometimes it would be useful to know what wireless networks are reachable for us at the place we are right now. The team envisions to integrate wireless network sensing into clothing, making us aware of the surrounding digital environment. One of their concept designs suggests the integration of the detection antenna and electronics into a shirt to visualize GSM cellphone activity. The shirt could be worn by staff at venues where cellphones should be switches off for security or privacy reasons. The visualization of the invisible GSM signals is done via a radio wave to light signal converting electronics. The light signals are guided to the end of the shirts sleeves via fiber optics. Richard Etter and Diana Grathwohl created another AwareFashion design concept called AwareCuffs, sensing nearby WiFi signals. We like the AwareFashion concept as we are very much in favor of using our future clothing as replacement of the senses we would usually have via our skin and to add new senses, making us aware of benefits or danger in our environment of things that did not exist in our evolutionary history long enough to be sensed by any of our body parts to sense them, to make us aware of the digital dimension that surrounds us.

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