Cuffs that sense your digital environment

by Richard Etter and Diana Grathwohl

AwareCuffs are the 2nd item of the techophile fashion design AwareFashion. AwareFashion are clothes that sense invisible communication technology in the surrounding. They inform the wearer in an unobtrusive and aesthetic manner about their immediate digital environment.

AwareCuffs inform the wearer about wireless hotspots in the near sourrounding. If a person wants to check if wireless LAN is available, she usually has to boot a laptop or use a Wifi-finder, which in some situations is not appropriate. Instead the wearer of AwareCuffs simply glances on the cuffs. Small light patterns that appear on the cloth indicate if wireless LAN is available and the quality of service.

Connected ?

The left and right cuff look very similar. Except that one has an attached pocket and has flexible transparent glass fibres that are woven into the cloth. When designing the cuffs great attention has been paid to make the technology invisible and to use the visible part of the technology as fashion design elements.

The wifi sensing technology is hidden in the small pocket. The circuit board in the pocket displays the quality of service by LEDs (light emitting diodes) in different colors. The LEDs are connected to glass fibres, the light travels through them and small light spots appear at the end. When the technology pocket is detached the cuffs solely consist of cloth and glass fibres and can be washed. This modular concept also makes it possible to easily replace the technology function of the cuffs. Or even, to wear the cuffs without technology at all, just because you love the fashion design.

If you would like to see more AwareFashion or want to check where to see AwareFashion live please click here. Thank you Katrin for taking the photos and many thanks to Sandra for wearing the cuffs.