Checking your Blackberry or iPhone when a Facebook notification goes off, may soon be just as outdated as checking your watch for time. Ping (not to be confused with Ping.fm… or Bing for that matter), is a “social network garment” that allows you to accept friends, update notifications, and do all-things Facebook, all the while remaining fashion (and tech) forward. You no longer have to be burdened by the constraints of having to actually have a phone-in-hand (oh the peasantry!), or attaching technology to clothing. By simply moving, Ping does the work for you. Vibration on your shoulder? No, it’s not a friend trying to get your attention, but rather a “friend” writing on your wall.
The Ping hoodie makes use of embedded electronics and haptics controlled by the Arduino Lilypad system, which transmits to your device (i.e. a smartphone) using the Lylipad Xbee. This technology serves as the interface between you and the information you crave. Movement as simple as lifting or dropping the hood can be used to send status updates and messages on Facebook.
To me, the most interesting part is, well, the designer, as well as endless possibilities. Ping was created by Jennifer Darmour, a user experience designer and bonafide blonde bombshell.
With a masters degree from the Art Center College of Design, lead designer for products such as Microsoft’s Live Search and Virtual Earth, oh, and founder of five various start-ups, Jennifer aids in blurring the lines yet again of brains and beauty.
Another noteworthy aspect of Ping is the flexibility of its concept. According to Jennifer, the platform can be adapted to different types of clothing, which could potentially allow for a whole new set of fashion or active wear, to be brought onto the scene. Zippers, buttons, or pockets, could now expand the possibilities of connectedness.
Remember the days when cell phones simply placed and received calls, and clothes strictly served a practical purpose? You know, like, keeping your body warm or protect you from the sun? Yeah, neither do I… but what does that matter? There was also a time when you had to have a “.edu” e-mail extension to join Facebook… now that, is a thing of the past!