The Ping Social Networking Garment

I found this project via future Shareable.net contributor Bruce Sterling, who labels it "fashion design-fiction." Introducing "Ping: A social networking garment":

Ping is a garment that connects to your Facebook account wirelessly and from anywhere. It allows you to stay connected to your friends and groups of friends simply by performing natural gestures that are built into the mechanics of the garments we wear. Lift up a hood, tie a bow, zip, button, and simply move, bend and swing to ping your friends naturally and automatically. No phone, no laptop, no hardware. Simply go about your day, look good and stay connected.

The project investigates three important and emerging areas in wearable technology:

Connection to larger systems

The garment investigates ways to connect to larger software systems that can add more functionality and longevity to the experience while offering a new platform for communication and expression.

Aesthetics

Rather than simply attaching technology to clothing, the project investigates garments that have electronics built directly into them resulting in a new aesthetic of form and behavior that become a core part of our expression, our identity, and our individuality.

Marketability

Very few wearable technology projects successfully target consumers outside of the sports, medical and military fields. We are just not there yet. The project aims to generate market desirability for a wide variety of people to use in everyday life.

"But you know what’s great about this?" writes Bruce. "This electronic clothes designer has enough common sense to hire an actual model. And a real fashion photographer. That’s what makes it good design fiction — as opposed to say, a FlickR snapshot of an Art Center grad grinning over her hotwired Arduino board."

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