I am always fascinated by innovative design concepts that merge our virtual existence with the physical space in which we live, especially if it includes technology enhanced clothing.
A team of designer formed at the Canadian Film Centre, Interactive Arts and Entertainment Program, Kathleen Climie, Rose Bianchini and David McCallum created the ‘Neighbourhoodie’, a hoodie that combines the fun and dynamic of street games like ‘zombie tag’ with the technological experience space young people grow up today of online or computer games.
Integrated into the hoodie is a system of proximity sensors, speakers and lights to augment game play.
To start the game ‘Survival Tag’ as shown in the video clip below, players connect the iPhone / iPod touch to the ‘Neighbourhoodie’. Once the hood it put over the head the game starts and the hunt is on.
Lights, sounds in the hoodie are activated to indicate various players stages and proximity of others with the aim to ‘knock’ out, to tag opponents until one survivor is left over. Pull down and up the hood again and the next battle starts.
The Wii gaming system made a first step to get people out of the couch and become again more physical engaged while playing games. The ‘Neighbourhoodie’ has the potential to motivate us to leaving not only the couch but the house by playing hybrid games that partly happen in the real world and partly in our all important virtual world.
Along the lines of this creative design concept the is a huge inspirational space envisioning many variations of this design weaving interactive garments and game interaction. An amazing project triggered by the combination of clothing and technology.