Social networks even on clothing
Social networks first arrived on our computers and then jumped to our mobile devices. Now, a group of researchers from MIT have gone farther and social networks can also be worn.
For the MIT Media Lab Fluid Interface Group, “the way in which we are represented in social media is intangible”. Well, we can have thousands of followers and receive many other Likes, but this may not even have an impact on real life. To be able to interact like Facebook or Twitter do, this group of researchers has created what they call “social fabric”, to connect people in real life as well as new technologies are able to connect people through the Internet.
Thus, Social Textiles is a t-shirt with a graphic printed in thermochromics ink; the ink can appear or disappear according to the heat touching upon a small electric panel adhered to its interior. The piece of clothing, connected with a smartphone, would know what our interests and likes are. So, upon passing close to someone who is also wearing smart clothes, Social Textile would send a buzz through the collar of the shirt to alert us.
But it wouldn’t stop there because, if after the buzz of the shirt you should decide to say hi to that new friend by shaking hands, thanks to the special ink, the fabric automatically illuminates symbols of what both of you have in common.
Large events such as conferences, business dinners or welcome to campus days at the university are some of the possible scenarios in which the use of these t-shirts could work, as the team of Social Textiles a Fast Company ensured. Will this be the end of tedious conversations with strangers?