The ‘Communicating Jacket‘ by David Bormans and Ivan Razin aims to create a jacket that allows interactive communication within the personal space of the wearer.
The personal space as it is defined in this project of the Digital Arts Studio at the School of Visual Arts in Belgium (ESAPV) ‘is unique to every individual and measured broadly using the following parameters: the length of the arm defines personal space to the individual, the length of the hand defines the space on both sides and body length defines the space behind.’
The communication as envisioned in the ‘Communicating Jacket’ project occurs through ultrasonic sensors, embedded in clothing, which detect human presence around the wearer.
If a presence is reported, the sensors activate corresponding to the visual and noise level by lighting up a LED display array and a piezo-speaker embedded in the jacket.
The display will show symbols depending on the proximity of someone come close to the personal space and the sound of the piezo-speaker indicates the individual has crossed the line and is intruding the wearer’s personal.
One could debate about the functionality or sensibility of such jacket in the real world and I must admit I do not see that concept in everyday clothing.
Having said this, I like the inventive, the inspirational factors in this and many other concept studies as they can serve as starting point for others to explore, to discover and to see our everyday world with colorful eyes, taking a fresh approach to designs that have the power to delight, to enrich not only our future clothing but also our life (style).
The project site is in French only but with the help of Google translation it’s easy to follow the team in their creative process documented at Communicating Jacket.