We all get a little blue or down in the dumps from time to time; it's only natural. For a lot of people, a simple hug is all it takes to feel better.
What if you had wearable tech that could make you feel better when you're sad or stressed? It sounds like science fiction, I know, but just wait till you hear how it works.
Researchers at Microsoft have developed a scarf that can sync with your smartphone and help you out when you're feeling sad or stressed. It's specifically designed to help those who suffer from autism, Aspergers, and disorders that make it hard to control emotion.
The sleek scarf is "a flexible laser-cut garment made of hexagons of industrial felt overlaid with conductive copper taffeta." Taffeta is a high-end fabric, a silky material traditionally used for wedding dresses and ball gowns. Some of the scarf modules can vibrate, and others can heat up, calming and soothing a nervous person.
Researchers are hoping to create a way to cool the wearer, which would be invaluable here in the Valley of the Sun, and a music player that could trigger specific playlists based on the wearer's mood and vital signs. These would most likely be created as individual modules to add to the scarf chain that houses the monitors and other modules.
"All the modules are controlled by one master module that is also responsible for communicating with the smartphone app over Bluetooth. The modules link together with metal snaps and are interchangeable; if you want a heat-producing module closer to your stomach and a vibrating one on your neck, you can unsnap the chain and reconfigure it, says Asta Roseway, a principal research designer at Microsoft Research and a paper coauthor."
Unfortunately, this project is only in the prototype stage and the main researcher on the project was an intern with Microsoft who has since graduated. Who knows, Microsoft may continue this research if it gets enough backing. I, for one, am excited for the new possibilities of wearable tech.
What do you think? Would you create a different kind of module for where you live? Would you want to use it at all? Let me know in the comments below!