Virtual Reality is one of the hottest items worked on at this moment. The aim is how to immerse the consumer into games and movies, get the consumer into the action literally.
While most of VR developments focus on 3D image and interaction from users like turning the head or body to get a 360 degree view, the folks behind Wearable Experiments (We:eX) have developed the Alert Shirt which is adding a new virtual dimension for watching a football game on TV.
The Alert Shirt has been created in partnership with advertising agency CHE Proximity for the Australian telecommunication company Foxtel to deliver the Football channel subscribers not only a visual sensation of the game but also the physical sensation from a selected football player.
How it works: each football player wears a jersey equipped with various sensors to capture Impact forces experienced by the player when he collides with another player or the thumping heartbeat (pressure) on the chest. The sensor datas are send in real time to a base station and transmitted together with the TV footage.
On the other side, the football fan sitting in front of the TV wears a haptic sensor equipped team jersey which is connected wirelessly via Bluetooth to a smartphone running the Alert Shirt App. The App allows to select any of the player in the team who’s sensor signals will then be send to the fan’s shirt. While watching the game on TV the haptic feedback sensors in the shirt will provide the physical impressions like impact and racing heartbeat.
Kinda cool system, enabling the fan to literally feel what his favorite football player is going through during a game.
While the Alert Shirt was a promotional project for Foxtel it opens a new dimensions for wearable technology applications far beyond getting physical with football players.
Imaging having the possibility to really feel what a person goes through physically when carrying out dangerous jobs on hazardous environments.
I know, most of these sensor data can be easily visualized on in numbers on a screen but taking that numbers off the screen and converting them into physical sensations like pressure, getting hit or hitting something, getting the hot or cold sensation is much more powerful than watching changing numbers on a screen.