Health & Safety
Can Clothing React to Your Environment?
Aug 19 2016 Read 2022 Times
We’ve all heard of dress codes. Dressing in certain ways for different occasions. Ever thought your clothes could be the one adapting to the environment instead of you? Well now, it could be possible. Technology is constantly advancing, and in recent years it’s even hit the clothing market. T-shirts with built in heart monitors. Jackets that can charge your phone. How about clothes that change their appearance?
One type of technology clothing is ‘smart clothing’. This is generally sports related. Clothes that can measure how your body is performing, and possibly even react. One such product is the Heddoko smart garment. The full body data capture and live feedback allows you to view your movements on a smart phone or device to see how you’re moving and how you can improve.
However, the latest development is something quite different. Behnaz Farahi – interaction designer at the University of Southern California – has designed and created a 3-D printed garment. Her creation, Caress of the Gaze, can sense when you’re being looked at and react accordingly. The garment has a built-in camera which tracks the eye movements of those around you. Its small features move towards the gaze, changing the shape and appearance.
“By looking at each other we communicate meanings, sometimes our gaze can be intrusive, sometimes our gaze can be reassuring,” said Farahi. “In other words, if you can feel someone’s gaze on your body, your perception of the world is going to be different”.
Another of Farahi’s creations is Synapse. It’s a 3-D printed helmet. The incredible thing about this bit of clothing is that it responds to the brain activity of the person wearing it. With lights and several connected panels, the helmet moves up and down to expose or hide the wearer’s face. Sensors collect information on brain activity which is sent to the helmet. Increased brain activity increases the tension between the connected panels to pull them up. In contrast, decreasing brain activity causes the connected panels to lose tension and lower to cover the wearer’s face.
Clothing can do some incredible things. From changing perceptions, to saving lives. Protective clothing is a big part of the health and safety measures that all employers should take on. ‘Employing Effective Health and Safety Measures Won’t Leave You Out in the Cold’ explores the guidelines for employers and how they can develop and effective system of safe work.
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