A new jacket from Wearable Experiments (We:eX) gives visitors to Paris a stylish way to take in the sophisticated cafés of the Left Bank, the gargoyles of Notre Dame, and all the other mesmerizing sights and sounds of the City of Light without having to stop and consult a map or navigation tool. Instead, the garment, programmable via a companion smart phone app, employs vibrations and LED lighting to provide directions.
The lightweight, blazer-style jacket works with a customized mapping app, which the wearer programs with directions to a specific destination, then uploads to the garment. The jacket displays the instructions on its sleeve. The LEDs, located on the sleeves, light up to warn of an approaching turn. When it’s time to make the turn, the left or right shoulder emits a tapping vibration, letting the person know which way to go, respectively. The article also uses different vibration intensities and frequencies to indicate hard and soft lefts or rights.
We:eX, which has already produced similar jackets for New York and Sydney, took its inspiration from such mobile-based navigation systems as Foursquare, along with online and printed city guides like Superfuture and Wallpaper, to create the Navigate Paris jacket. It is looking to partner with some of these content providers to further refine the jacket’s functionalities.
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