Some of us are born with natural grace; the rest of us would sooner bust a kneecap than any moves. No matter what your rhythm, the Zip jacket by Jennifer Darmour (a.k.a. Electricfoxy) allows you to interact with your iPod or cellphone in an organic way, giving meaning to your movements. Unlike most high-tech garments, the Zip doesn’t just smuggle hardware buttons inside fabric. Rather, the integrated controls correspond with gestures we already use with our clothes. Pulling your zipper up or down adjusts the volume of the attached device, while tugging on the drawstring retracts the built-in earbuds.
YOU’VE GOT TO MOVE IT
A little too geeky for your taste? Rest assured, the Zip is a stylish jacket, sans pocket protector, with unique geometric pleats made from embroidered conductive threads. Instead of hiding hardware components out of sight, the Zip uses flexible soft circuitry to make technology part of the design. Better yet, it can be easily washed.
Instead of hiding hardware components out of sight, the Zip uses flexible soft circuitry to make technology part of the design.
“Clothing is a core part of our expression,” Darmour explains. “[It] offers ways for us to communicate who we are and the context in which we live. Technology enables a richer connection with people and our environment and offers a new platform for communication and expression.”
Although the Zip is currently limited to volume control, future versions of the jacket will allow you to skip tracks, pause mid-song, and browse your playlist, all using everyday gestures. So the next time you trip over the subway platform, you’ve got an excuse. You were just clicking “next.”