Hoodie pings your Facebook friends

Posted by Emma Woollacott

For some reason, designers just won't give up on the idea of us wearing our technology. The idea might appeal to owners of garment and tech factories, perhaps, who could halve the number of exploited teenagers needed to produce the things.

But the latest version of wearable computing is a little more cute - a hoodie called Ping that enables people to do all their social networking with the wave of a hand.

"Lift up a hood, tie a bow, zip, button, and simply move, bend and swing to ping your friends naturally and automatically," says its developer, Electricfoxy.

The hoodie has flexible sensors and circuitry embedded into the fabric, much of it visible, to detect the user's movement. For example, lifting up the hood automatically sends a message and updates the wearer's status.

A little gadget built into the shoulder means that if your friends send you a comment or a message, you get a tap on the shoulder.

The Facebook application even allows the user to assign different tapping rythms to different groups of people, so you know who is  is trying to connect.

The prototype has been built on the Arduino Lilypad platform with custom software to interface with Facebook.