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Wear Your Social Network

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Social Textiles respond when users share a common interest.

A team of students in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab is developing a wearable social network.

Credit: Social Textiles

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Media Lab students hope to make it easier for people to make real-world connections by broadcasting their social media likes and interests offline.

The team from the Fluid Interfaces and Tangible Media groups is developing a wearable social network called Social Textiles. The wearable network consists of t-shirts that light up when wearers share a common interest. When people wearing Social Textiles are within 12 feet of one another, their shirts will give a quick buzz on the shoulder to alert them that someone with a common interest is near.

"Online is good at connecting us at a distance, but not connecting us when we're close," notes MIT's Viirj Kan. "We wanted to change that."

When the wearers identify each other and physically touch, their shirts will light up and reveal their shared interest. The shirts do not store information from the wearers' profiles on established social networks, but connect and light up around a common interest such as a community they belong to or a brand.

"If you were to buy your shirt through a certain blog, that blog would be your connection and interest," Kan says.

From MIT News
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