The fabric of social
Thanks to social textiles, social networking has become very wearable. MIT's Tangible Media Group and Fluid Interface have joined forces to develop a T-shirt - first things first - circuit membrane and thermochromatic ink (86ºF), hooked up to a smartphone. The combined kit is able to detect people in the vicinity of the wearer who share the same interests, generating a buzz in the collar when they are within 12 metres.
Should there be physical contact, then the garment’s capacitive sensor kicks in, the shirt illuminates symbols demonstrating what the two parties have in common. Put it all down to haptic feedback, if you must.
Social textiles embody who you are and dynamically reflect your shared interests with people nearby, says MIT and Fluid Interface. They enable you to gain access to communities of people in the physical world and “enhance social affordances (!) and icebreaking interactions through wearable social messaging”. Even more ambitiously, they “serve to connect community members with niche interests, philosophical beliefs, personalities, emotional statuses and ethical views”.