for what it’s worth

stories and stimulus from a consumer insight consultant

Intelligent Clothing- The Wearable Instrument Shirt

The Sydney Morning Herald reports on the invention of the Wearable Instrument Shirt created by scientists at the CSIRO’s Textile and Fibre Technology division in Geelong. Electric sensors woven into a t-shirt enable it to be played liked a real (air) guitar- the wearer acts out playing the instrument and  their arm movements are mapped and beamed by radio to a computer which interprets them and turns them into musical notes.

“The left arm chooses a note and the right arm plays it,” said
Richard Helmer, a CSIRO chemical engineer who led the project- although the arrangement can be reversed for left-handed musicians. “It’s an easy-to-use, virtual instrument that allows real-time music making even by players without significant musical or computing skills”

There is no date as yet for when the WIS would go into production, but the CSIRO has already taken out patents. Dr Helmer believes the market for such intelligent clothing could be enormous, with applications going beyond music and gaming into the medical and teaching professions.

see the guitar shirt in action here or watch a tambourine version

Filed under: technology, visions of the future,

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