And beyond that, the sensors on offer are more flexible than you might expect. Remember that module that tracks motion for VR? Machina says it could pretty easily double as a fitness tracker that embeds itself in clothing … that is, assuming developers out there are willing to craft the necessary software to interpret that sensor data. (An SDK is forthcoming, I’m told.)
The haptic module, meanwhile, could buzz up against your skin whenever a notification pops up on your phone. If you had several attached to your smart shirt, you could feasibly have different parts of your body vibrate based on who’s trying to contact you. Perdigon says Machina is working on an IFTTT-style app to connect to those sensors, so connecting them to your favorite services should be dead-simple.
“If you got a ‘like’ on Facebook, for example,” he said, “the sensor over your heart could vibrate.” Who says technology can’t make you feel loved?
Fashion and technology don’t always collide elegantly, but Machina’s work proves it can be done. Whether it actually forces the rest of the industry to think more broadly about what mobile virtual reality can be is unknowable. In the meantime, though, there’s just something viscerally exciting about seeing a very geeky, very personal kind of product get so many things right.
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