If you’re prone to rocking out in your bedroom with some solo air guitar, you might be interested in this device called the WIS – the Wearable Instrument Shirt – and it is tipped to make the air guitar obsolete.
Scientists at the CSIRO’s Textile and Fibre Technology division in Geelong have woven electronic sensors into a T-shirt so that it can be played liked a real guitar.
Movements by the wearer’s arms are mapped and beamed by radio to a computer which interprets them and turns them into musical notes.
The wearer only has to act out playing the instrument to make sounds.
“The left arm chooses a note and the right arm plays it,”
said Richard Helmer, a CSIRO chemical engineer who led the project. The arrangement can be reversed for left-handed musicians.
Exactly when the WIS could be on the market is not certain, but the CSIRO has already taken out patents and Dr Helmer has started work on a business plan for its commercialisation.
While Dr Helmer believed the market for the WIS could be enormous, the real objective was to let the public glimpse the future of intelligent clothing being devoped by the CSIRO.
People wearing shirts with sensors could operate computers and play computer games without ever having to touch a mouse or a touch pad.
Related Links: CSIRO Textile and Fibre Technology