Wired Threads: High-Tech Clothes with Surprising Functions

Before 80% of people in the developed world started strapping on Bluetooth earpieces and having conversations with thin air, wearable phones were the stuff of spy movies. But a company called CuteCircuit is giving the wearable phone a surprisingly stylish twist with the M-Dress (or Mobile Phone Dress), a little black dress that also happens to be a phone. The dress came about because ladies often don’t have a convenient place to carry phones when out on the town, so the makers figured that wearing the phone would be a more attractive solution than, say, a little clutch purse. To answer the phone, the wearer simply puts her hand to her ear; the only drawback seems to be that only one number can be programmed into the dress for outgoing calls. That drawback might actually be a benefit when it cuts down on embarrassing drunk dials, though.

CuteCircuit is the same company that invented the Hug Shirt, a garment that recreates the feeling of getting a hug from a loved one. When a virtual hug is sent to the wearer, the shirt gets the message via Bluetooth. The shirt gives the wearer the sensations of being hugged: warmth, pressure and heartbeat. It’s kind of weird, but who couldn’t use a few more hugs in their life?

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See more in Phones & Mobile or under Gadgets. August, 2010.

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