When wearable computing meets the Pilates shirt

SEATTLE -- Technology giants such as Google and apparel makers such as Nike are pouring millions into wearable computing, betting that it's one of the next untapped frontiers in consumer electronics.

Runners slip sensors into their shoes to track how far they've gone. Insomniacs wear wristbands to monitor their sleep habits. Skiers don goggles with heads-up displays to see how fast they're moving.

But wearable computing remains a niche business. Even as the cost and size of the sensors the devices use has dropped, and the ability to transmit the data those sensors collect to smartphones has … Read more

High-tech tank top doubles as yoga coach

Fitness technology is hot. Wearable technology is hot. It was just a matter of time before the two got together and had a love child. That baby is Move, a prototype technology garment that tracks your movements.

This isn't the first time we've checked out an imaginative tech fashion product from Jennifer Darmour of Electricfoxy. Her Zip jacket integrated a volume control into the zipper.

Built-in electronics in the tank top not only collect data with stretch-and-bend sensors, but also give a little physical nudge when your body position needs a correction. It's kind of like having somebody politely telling you not to slouch.… Read more

Tech-integrated jacket zips up the volume

The next time your 'buds are in and someone stops to chat, you might need to unzip your jacket. Let's just hope that person knows why--your zipper is your MP3 player's volume control.

We've seen wearable technology such as climate-reflecting dresses, but most of these garments are prototypes that will never see the production line (mostly due to high costs and a fragmented manufacturing process.)

Jackets with slits for headphone wires and hoodies with built-in earbuds have also gotten some attention, but neither integrate technology the way Jennifer Darmour of electricfoxy envisions.

Darmour, an experiential prototyper with a knack for interactive garments, took gestures we're accustomed to--zipping and unzipping--and integrated a common gadget control, volume.

Zip is also designed to be a ready-to-wear piece, as Darmour was able to adjust the circuitry and pattern enough to keep costs down in mass production. Sometimes garments with circuitry, like Ping (another design from Darmour), are too complicated to be produced in quantities. … Read more

Your hoodie just updated your Facebook page

Sure, you can "poke" a friend or "like" a status via your mobile phone. But that's sooo last season.

Ping, a "social-networking garment" from Seattle-based user experience designer Jennifer Darmour, is a concept hoodie that links to your Facebook account wirelessly and lets you connect to your minions by performing basic gestures.

Take off the hood, and you poke a friend. Tie the waist bow to accept a friend request. What's that? A vibration on your shoulder? You just received a new notification.

Darmour, the brain behind Ping and the site electricfoxy, … Read more