Microsoft developing the smart scarf

Microsoft developing the smart scarf

Like most people who write for and read this site, I’m passionately interested in and excited about gadgets. Sometimes, though, you wonder whether things have spiralled out of control. Microsoft is supposedly developed a smart scarf. Not only will this woollen wonder keep your neck warm, but it will connect to your phone via Bluetooth and can be set to vibrate or – wait for it – heat up to let you know about any notifications. This is only a concept for the moment. Just to prove their sincerity in developing such a barmy device, it is currently not known as the smart scarf but as:

SWARM: An Actuated Wearable for Mediating Affect

Makes it so much more desirable don’t you think? In case you’re not already bored by the idea, here is the full description:

‘We present SWARM, a wearable affective technology designed to help a user to reflect on their own emotional state, modify their affect, and interpret the emotional states of others. SWARM aims for a universal design (inclusive of people with various disabilities), with a focus on modular actuation components to accommodate users’ sensory capabilities and preferences, and a scarf form-factor meant to reduce the stigma of accessible technologies through a fashionable embodiment. Using an iterative, user-centered approach, we present SWARM’s design. Additionally, we contribute findings for communicating emotions through technology actuations, wearable design techniques (including a modular soft circuit design technique that fuses conductive fabric with actuation components), and universal design considerations for wearable technology.’

 Source: Microsoft Research