October 19, 2016 AT 5:00 am

One Day This Wearable Tech May Help You Sense #WearableWednesday @ialab #wearabletech

Sarotis Haptic Skin

Usually when we think of our neck, we think of sensing temperature like a chilly breeze or sweat. We might also think of sensing for health reasons like gulping during colds or the restricted feeling of asthma. This neck collar, brought to my attention by TheArchitectsNewspaper, acts as a haptic device and has the potential to extend that sensing ability. It’s called Sarotis and it’s a vision from researchers Maria Paneta and Ava Aghakouchak at the Interactive Architecture Lab at the Bartlett School of Architecture in London. Their research started with the knowledge that most people will be using 3D vision tech in the future. In their words:

The Sarotis Project looks beyond mobile phones and tablets, towards more intimate wearable technology futures. Where advanced vision systems and other sensor technologies are connected directly to the body through softer interfaces.

Using the Google Project Tango Dev Kit they conducted experiments, specifically targeting its 3D scanning capabilities for an Android device in combination with soft robotic wearable devices. Check out their work.

Working with hydrogel and inflation they have created interfaces to navigate both virtual and physical worlds. Their latest piece shown in the photo at the top is speculative and demonstrates how this soft interface may help in understanding our own physiology. For details on the iterations for this project, check out Sarotis Making Of. I’m really excited for Maria, Ava and the rest of the team; this is fine work and could be used in the future to help with accessibility or even space walks. For those of you who have an interest in soft robotics, you should definitely take a look at our learning guide on Soft Quadruped. This silicone robot walks using air pressure and is actually cute!

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