NYU Students Design Hoodie That Helps to Send Texts to Family and Friends


Hooded sweatshirts can now help students to send subtle and covert messages to their family and friends without attracting attention.

Designed by two graduate students at the New York University's Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP), this new hooded sweatshirt allows one to send pre-programmed texts to pre-programmed contacts merely through gestures. Users can tell their friends that they are free to talk or missing their company by just touching or rolling up their sleeves.

The smart hoodie with integrated technology responds to different gestures. It is programmed to text "I miss you," when the hood is touched, "I can't talk now, I'm in class," when the sleeve is rolled up, and "Let's Skype," when someone touches their sleeves, PSFK reports. Buttons in the hoodie also trigger different messages, Daily Caller reports.

The prototype hoodie features GSM radio, arduino board and sensors sewn inside it.

"The concept of putting the technology behind a cell phone into something truly wearable and everyday is what this project stands to represent. A portable, wearable phone," Alina Balean, one of the developers, wrote in a blog post.

During experiments, the students programmed the hoodie in such a way that it was made capable of sending text messages to Balean's mother, informing her of her daughter's activities at the university.

"If I rolled up my left sleeve it tells her I am in class and can't talk, if I put my hoodie on it tells her that I miss her, and if I push the right sleeve it lets her know I am free and can chat online," Balean said.

Similar wearable technology is also introduced in smart watches and Google Glass

But, the graduates believe that their innovation is a first of its kind as the smart hoodie can be turned into a safety device and used to send out calls for help. For example, if someone is passing through a bad neighborhood at night, he/she can subtly send a message about their location without attracting any attention.

"Other iterations of this hoodie can be a safety device for individuals traveling alone, children, or others (CIA anyone) that need to communicate discreetly," Balean said.

However, the prototype still needs to undergo some major changes as there are noticeable limitations. What if the wearer just wants to roll up his/her sleeve? Will this gesture too sends a message to his/her friends? Will the technology-laden Smart Hoodie be waterproof?

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