Australian scientists are developing a smart wardrobe that can download songs to 'smart' shirts. Smart clothes contain battery-run electronics to monitor the heart rate or transmit music to wireless headphones.
Now, Professor Bruce Thomas and his team at the University of South Australia's Wearable Computer Laboratory have developed a prototype wardrobe with a computer in its base, which is connected via the hanging rail to electronic clothes hangers, each with its own ID.
Clothes connect with the system via conductive pads on the inside of the shoulders, while a touch screen on the outside of the wardrobe allows the user to communicate with the system.
The system can also connect to the Internet and be scheduled to download music at particular times or to keep track of when you last cleaned a piece of clothing, say its inventors.
The system will inform the user that hanger 24 has this week's top dance tracks on it and hanger 25 has a suit that's been worn too many times, said Prof. Thomas.
According to Prof. Thomas, the smart wardrobe could also be useful as a 'fashion butler'. It could, for example, download information from the Internet on what colour combinations are fashionable, or could also help prevent embarrassment by keeping track of when what one wears to which events, he said.
"Say you select the outfit on hanger 4 to wear to someone's party, the smart wardrobe could tell you if you had worn that the last time you went there. Some of these applications might sound frivolous, but it gives you an idea of how broad the applications of the smart wardrobe could be. On the less frivolous side, a smart wardrobe could be used to manage shirts with accelerometers in them to check on how active kids are during the day," said Prof. Thomas.
"Smart clothes could also be used to monitor whether elderly people are missing meals or falling over. If sensors in the clothes detect there may be a problem they could be programmed to alert family or emergency services," ABC online quoted him as saying.