Facebook PixelInteractive outfit elements to let others around you know when you're willing to talk
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Interactive outfit elements to let others around you know when you're willing to talk

Image credit: https://i.redd.it/yaagt6lmt3p21.jpg; https://d2a2wjuuf1c30f.cloudfront.net/product_photos/64031493/file_a334dae4dd_400w.jpg

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Povilas S
Povilas S Jul 29, 2022
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Interactive outfit elements that let unfamiliar people around you know if you're up for a conversation. It can be a straightforward message ("I'm willing to talk", "You can talk to me", etc.) appearing on your T-shirt whenever you activate it or it can be something more subtle like a color change of a bracelet or other accessory to indicate your mood.
The novelty of the idea is to make indicative features appear and disappear upon user's will.
Why?
  • Reduce social anxiety for both sides when it comes to socializing with strangers or people you don't know well.
  • Making this interactive (the appearance of the message or other symbolic indicator is controlled by the user) gives more flexibility and convenience to the user since they can activate and remove the indicator whenever they want without changing the outfit element (e.g. taking the T-shirt off).
  • This could be useful not only for communication with strangers but sometimes with familiar people as well.
  • If a variety of such interactive products were available, people could choose a way to indicate their willingness to communicate, from the most straightforward (big lettered message on your T-Shirt), to more subtle ones (a change of color of your bracelet, a symbol appearing on your jacket, etc.).
How it works:
I see this branching into two main options:
A direct indicator - written message appearing on your clothes/accessories.
Have an interactive pad attached to the front of a T-shirt, a jumper, or a jacket - just a thicker layer above the fabric containing a microchip and other materials serving as a simple screen.
A Bluetooth-enabled microchip receives signals from your smartphone. You control the screen through a dedicated app, you can choose when to display and when to hide the message (the screen then takes the color of the rest of the fabric and is hardly noticeable). If the system was more sophisticated, you could choose different messages to display.
A subtle indicator - change of color of an accessory, a symbol appearing/disappearing on it, etc.
The same technological approach would be used as with direct indicator. Bluetooth connects your phone or a smartwatch with a dedicated accessory, you then control the process through the app. Alternatively or additionally, physiological sensors implemented into your smartwatch could monitor your mood and the system would change the indicative colors/symbols automatically. This would be like an improved version of a mood ring. The same automatic approach is also applicable to the direct indicator option.
A pro of a subtle indicator approach is that you can indicate your mood/willingness to communicate subtly (suitable for more modest or shy people) and it is like a game of waiting for those who will notice it and act upon it.
A con is that people around would have to know that a certain outfit element is dedicated to signal about your mood/willingness to talk. So it would have to be of a certain, uniquely indicative design, similarly to how you can't confuse crocs footwear with anything else. If all crocs slippers were made interactive to signal the wearer's surroundings about their willingness to communicate through a color change, someone seeing a person wearing crocks of a certain color would know for sure that this is an indicator about their willingness or unwillingness to talk.
A universally accepted coding system should be used, meaning that people familiar with such smart accessories and recognizing them should also know which color/symbol represents which mental/emotional state of the wearer.
2
Creative contributions

Parfume-changing t-shirt

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J. Nikola
J. Nikola Aug 06, 2022
A T-shirt which you spray with different perfumes in "different modes" and can switch between them easily later.
Why?
Some people prefer strong perfumes, while others like light notes or no perfumes at all. However, perfumes can send a strong message when encountering someone closely. It would be cool if there is a way to express your mood by changing the perfume you wear with a click of a button.
How would it work?
A battery-powered T-shirt that has several electrostatic states that can be switched by a simple click of a button. Each electrostatic state can "store" certain perfume and if turned on, can emit the smell into surroundings. If something like this wouldn't work, different areas of a t-shirt could be sprayed with different perfumes. By changing the electrostatic state of each area, you could intensify the smell coming from that area.
  • Do you think it could work?
  • Would it be worth trying?
  • Is there any other technology how this could be one that crosses your mind?
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"Talk time"

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Florin Buda
Florin Buda Aug 02, 2022
I'd go further with this idea. I won a beautiful friendship with an ex-coleague after he bought the same car that i had: the kind that connects to your bluetooth and you can talk while driving. So i started to call him at 16:10 when he was driving home just to say hello, day review, next day planning, beer invites and most importantly: gossip about the other coleagures. It would be great if facebook or even linkedin would have a box where you can type in the hour when you're allways available for calls. "Hey Siri, when is Povilas S's talk hour? Schedule a phonecall at that thime to make sure i'm not interupting him. "
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Povilas S
Povilas S4 months ago
What if I don't have that specific time of the day when I'm always available?;) This also depends on your priority for certain activities/people. As a freelancer, I have a rather flexible schedule, but I also have other things to do apart from work. If we scheduled a specific time with a certain person to be dedicated for talks each day, I could adapt, but then maybe it's not the same when you make it a rather mandatory thing like going to work each day at the same time:)
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General comments

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Shubhankar Kulkarni
Shubhankar Kulkarni4 months ago
This idea might be a boon for people on the spectrum and those who want to try and communicate better.
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Oguntola Tobi
Oguntola Tobi4 months ago
I'm not convinced about this idea. I feel it is too much stress to go through to indicate to people that you want to have a conversation, unless you have a job that requires you to communicate with people to a large extent.
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Povilas S
Povilas S4 months ago
Oguntola Tobi Don't take it too seriously:) This is for situations where one is in public, in a rather social atmosphere.
I personally see many benefits of this. You can signal willingness to talk with strangers with a smile or eye contact, but not everyone is keen to do that even if inside they feel like they want to have a chat. So this approach is more suitable for introverted people. This way you don't have to initiate the conversation yourself, you can wait for someone to notice and comment on it.
This is also good for people who want to initiate conversation but feel like they don't want to disturb people, seeing an indicator like that they'd feel free to do it. Sometimes a person looks serious or angry, but if you talk to them you realize they are actually friendly and empathetic, social indicators would let eliminate this misconception in the first place.
This way you'd also have something to start a conversation from, you can point at the message on the T-shirt and say "Nice, what do you want to talk about?" or simply compliment an accessory and its cool feature, etc.
Having subtle indicators you need to look for, like a certain color of a bracelet gamifies the socializing experience.
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J. Nikola
J. Nikola4 months ago
Povilas S What if an introvert dresses its a "social" t-shirt or just puts on an "I-want-to-talk" bracelet when they want to meet people (but are never brave enough to just start talking)? It seems like a good way of telling people the same, but with no technological accessories that require additional cost.
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Povilas S
Povilas S4 months ago
J. Nikola Then the person would have to take the bracelet/T-shirt off whenever they don't feel so social anymore and put it back on once they're back in the mood/circumstances are convenient. Making this interactive would let you signal your willingness to talk or just the mood you are in with a click of a button whenever you want.
So say you walked out of the bar and now walking down the street, you don't want people interrupting you anymore - just easily hide the message, then you got on a tram and see there are some nice people around that are also doing nothing - turn it back on again, etc.
The message instantly appearing on your outfit would make people react to it, it's fun, it's like talking without talking. Even if you're an extrovert you won't always shout something to make others around you pay attention, but the message on your outfits can do this.
Generally, the idea is leaning towards the realization of smart outfits. It's about making things easier and more playful for everyone. You can realize more useful features through such systems, not only willingness to communicate, but that's a good one to start with.
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