How Wearable Tech Can Be Used for Social Good
Designs from The New School are helping us disconnect and aiding people with visual impairment
The functionality of clothing continues to expand thanks to the concept of wearable technology. Not limited to one use or design, this realm continues to expand as more and more creatives explore what it means to create a connected garment. Many of these might even seem like average articles of clothing from the outside. The New School’s Parsons School of Design recently presented work at SXSW that focused specifically on wearable tech created for social good.
According to The New School’s blog, ‘Sensory’ “is designed with several adaptations to heighten the tactile and auditory awareness of wearers” in order to help the wearer gain a greater awareness of their surroundings. The pieces also “includes a braille system,” adjustable cuffs and “an embedded cane.” All of these elements come together to make the garment convenient for the wearer both through its overall design and in its integration of technology.
Other projects offer helpful features in more subtle ways. Birce Ozkan’s ‘Augmented Jacket’ was designed to help users keep their eyes on their surroundings instead of staring at their mobile devices. Ozkan designed “black feathers which are connected to motors” to achieve this.
“When the wearer faces a certain direction, the plumage also moves in that direction, telling the user where he or she needs to go,” the post states.
These students prove that wearable devices can be used for a range of purposes. Ultimately, these uses will only continue to grow as our technology gets better and better.