Non-instrument playing metal heads of the world rejoice!
Australian scientists from CSIRO’s Textile and Fibre Technology division have brought to life those rock star dreams you’ve had since your adolescence (you know, the ones you continue to live out in your basement though you’re now a grown man with kids) by creating a shirt that lets you play air guitar… for real!
It’s called the WIS, the Wearable Instrument Shirt.
Electronic sensors woven into the shirt map the wearer’s arms and are beamed through radio waves into a computer which translates the movement into musical notes. According to Dr. Richard Helmer, the lead chemical engineer on the project, “The left arm chooses a note and the right arm plays it,” but things can be augmented for left handed air guitarists.
So, if you’re like Hendrix, you won’t have to learn to wear the shirt upside down. On top of that, you can get all fancy with it if you want to. Dr. Helmer has confirmed that "You can play with yours hands above your head," and "You can turn around and jump. Whatever you like." That’s a full range of motion that puts the Wiimote and the Guitar Hero axe to shame.
The downside is that nobody knows when the shirt will be available to consumers, though CSIRO can’t wait to get it out to the public. The upside is that while wearing the shirt you could do even more cool stuff like PC gaming without the aid of a mouse, as well as be taught things like how to play tennis (reminds me of downloading skills right into your brain like in The Matrix).
Even better, if you care about your fellow man at all, the shirt could help physically rehabilitate people who’ve been in accidents and help doctors examine patients from a country away.
The WIS rocks, and not in just the literal sense!
The Sydney Morning Herald: Hi tech T-shirt really rocks