It seems that since we’ve integrated our entire lives into our phones, we’re now looking for ways to further integrate our phones into our everyday lives. Products like Google Glass are letting us wear information-supplying tech wherever we go, suggesting that wearable phones might just be the next step in ever-present communication.
NYU graduate students Alina Balean and Rucha Patwardhan designed the “Smart Hoodie,” a wearable cell phone that takes communication out of the pocket and puts it into a piece of clothing. They programmed functions into the hoodie that would normally involve pressing buttons on a phone: rolling up a sleeve to notify friends or family (via Facebook or text message) that the wearer is in class, or rolling up the right sleeve to indicate the wearer is free and able to chat.
Although the project is still an experiment, the idea is intriguing for a number of reasons. In the future, it could be integrated with a smartphone to send preset messages or make phone calls to preset numbers based only on gestures. It could be used by kids to periodically check in with their parents, or even by undercover police officers to send covert messages.