The Social Textiles Collection enables wearable social messaging

The Social Textiles Collection enables wearable social messaging

A new “social textiles” project in the US aims to connect the worlds of fashion and social media via a new “smart” T-shirt devised by MIT and designers from Fluid Interface Group.

A group of MIT students has invented a “social textiles T-shirt” which pairs to a smartphone via Bluetooth and alerts the wearer to other people nearby who share similar interests and backgrounds.

The collar buzzes when such people are within 12ft of the user and, if the people make physical contact, the shirt is illuminated, showing images which allude to the shared interests of the two individuals.

The T-shirt works by having a pattern drawn in thermochromatic ink, with an ultra-thin circuit membrane underneath it.

The aim of the project, according to the MIT students, is to make social media a more tangible feature of life, rather than an essentially remote and impersonal activity.

“Social textiles embodies who you are and dynamically reflects your shared interests with people nearby,” the project website says.

“It enables you to gain access to communities of people in the physical world. It enhances social affordances by providing ice-breaking interactions through wearable social messaging.”