Jennifer Darmour is an art college graduate and Microsoft employee who has designed a variety of clothing for the new “e-apparel” fashion category including a hoody that will satisfy fashion-lovers obsessed with Facebook. The natural actions of the body activate a microcontroller sewn into the garment so that users will get a tap on the shoulder when someone has written on their Facebook wall. They can respond by closing the zipper on the hoody, tying the waist bow, or pulling the hood over their head. Wearers can customize the Facebook action that will cause the garment to give them a shoulder tap and also customize the way the hoody responds to particular Facebook friends.
The wiring and technology is not visible outside the garment, so the hoody remains fashionable as well as functional. We can expect that this garment is a glance into a future in which more and more clothing will integrate gadgets as they grow ever smaller, more flexible, and increasing a part of our lives that we do not wish to leave at home.
Darmour has also worked on running shoes with technology that allows wearers in different locations to have the sensation of running a race "together," a garment for overweight children that allows them to share and mix music and encourages them to be more physically active, and products that work with snowboards and computer-game devices.
While wearable cameras and clothing that incorporates some sort of robotics has been in a novelty or small-market item since the 1950s, microminiaturization, increasingly cheap and large-capacity memory devices, and social networking-ready communication, today designers and technologists like Darmour are pioneering clothing that looks great as well as enabling people to get new benefits from technology.