Jenny Chowdhury a resident researcher focusing on wearable and physical computing at NYU/ITP created a range of 802.11 (WiFi) Apparel by taking out the ‘geeky’ look of other WiFi shirts we have posted about.
Her approach is to combine traditional floral pattern used for a long time to decorate clothing with the technology from the synthetic environment of today.
WiFi – or 802.11 in tech speak – is becoming more and more ubiquitous as almost all portable devices using WiFi as communication function. Those radio waves, although present around us, are invisible.
WiFi Finder devices are used to check if the WiFi signal strength is sufficient to use our devices. But as Jenny demonstrates the is more potential into the WiFi detecting technology than being just a cold, hard plastic box.
WiFi detecting technology can be used to add a new style dimension to our clothing, to interact with our environment by changing colors, visualizing the vibrancy of our lifeline (WiFi) to the cyber world (online presents).
The Wifi Jacket is the first of a range of WiFi apparels ‘literally “bring to light” a portion of the invisible radio waves by illuminating five stripes in accordance with the wifi signal strength.’
The basis for Jenny’s 802.11 Apparel is a hacked WiFi detector, some LEDs and an Arduino micro-controller.
Now you decide which WiFi indicator is more appealing: the plastic-box-shaped WiFi-Finder devices or Jenny’s Wifi-Jacket?