With the rate that technology is expanding and growing, it’s unsurprising that the world of fashion and tech are growing increasingly indistinguishable. Although products such as virtual dressing rooms and speedy fashion apps have been around for awhile, electronics are now being embedded into clothing to make everyday tasks more efficient for the wearer.
Recently designer Billie Whitehouse, 27, moved to New York City and saw a problem that needed fixing—smartphone fixation. As the Australian native explored her new city, she saw people everywhere have little accidents like running into other people, or having doors open into them, all because of one thing: their phone. Instead of trying to lecture the phones out of their hands, she came up with an innovative solution.
Realizing that most of the people she was seeing were tourists following directions, she decided to design a piece of clothing which did the work for you. Called the Navigate Jacket, her creation connects to your phone via Bluetooth, which is located in the shoulders of the jacket. When you are supposed to go left, the jacket will give your left shoulder a tap, or vice versa. The pressure of the taps will vary depending on whether the turn is sharp or soft. On top of that, when you reach your destination, the jacket will give you a double tap. Whitehouse believes that we spend too much time wrapped up in electronics instead of enjoying the world around us, and hopes her creation will help eliminate such a smartphone-oriented culture. No more noses in phones trying to decide if the road you should be turning on is in 200 or 250 ft.
The jacket is being displayed in an exhibit called “Cloud Couture,” which is through Pratt Institute’s Brooklyn Fashion and Design Accelerator. As well as showcasing the Navigation Jackets, the show includes bras created with a 3-D printer with LED lights that change with the wearer’s mood, as well as other fashion items which will improve quality of life.