To answer that, we might want to understand how the dress actually works. It turns out that the environment dress is filled with various sensors that measure environmental noise, temperature, atmospheric pressure, ultraviolet radiation and even the amount of carbon monoxide present in our near surroundings. All the data gathered by these sensors are sent to a mobile phone via Bluetooth or WiFi. The mobile phone will have to be connected to the internet because the data is uploaded to a database.
The database collects all these data from different people at different locations in order to produce something very interesting. The user wearing the dress — or any user connected to the project’s app or web page for that matter — will now be able to see this data through ‘amiable’ visualization. Think of this as some kind of Google Map that tells you what a certain place feels like, rather than what it looks like.
So how does the dress actually use all the data it has collected from the environment? Well it does this ‘response profiling’ immediately after analyzing the environmental data it has just collected. Say for example the servers detect a high level of ultraviolet light or carbon monoxide based on the data sent received by the sensors. Based on these data, lighting devices on the dress light up so different responses are generated for different environmental conditions. This can serve as a warning to the user that something in their environment is potentially dangerous to their health.
The technology is still far from hitting the market but some of its potential applications seem quite interesting. The dress could be used by blind people who have less information regarding their environment. In general, it seems quite helpful to have all these environmental data at the palm of our hands. The question is, how realistic can it be?