exChange – networking with eTextiles

exChange-networked-breathingNetworking is a fix-point of our daily activities. Many of us are members of multiple networking communities to stay in touch with family and friends and to meet new people.

Wearable electronic is finding it’s space in the drive to stay connected physically. As clothing is very close to us it is highly suitable to be used to bridge the gap between our virtual and the physical identities.

A growing selection of wearable electronic concepts which explore the possibilities of transmitting touch and physical stimulation between people via clothing demonstrates the viability of using technology enhanced clothing for the physical touch.

Sending hugs, a tap on the shoulder, a light indicating the love one feels right now are just a few examples which investigate the possibilities soft, eTextile technology can offer in this area.

Jessica Floeh, design and technology student at Parsons did an interesting project called exChange, using stretch sensing technology to share the breathing with another person.

One person’s inhalation and exhalation triggers a small fan to inflate and deflate a thin plastic membrane in the wearable object on another person.

Although we usually do not pay attention to the way we breath, our breathing pattern has a big impact to our well being. Concepts like this could be translated into product ideas to visualize our breathing pattern and correct it if needed. Sharing the breathing pattern with someone can have an calming effect as well.

I like such conceptual ideas as they have the potential to unleash an avalanche of potential uses enabled through technology enhanced clothing.

‘Breathing down someone’s neck’ just got a new dimension in form of Jessica’s exChange project.

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