The humble hoodie is to the tech world what Armani suits were to Jordan Belfort: a heavily stereotyped if sartorially accurate uniform.
Fitting, then, that the hoodie should be tabbed as the first article of clothing to be integrated with its own VR headset.
After pondering the future of virtual reality, Artefact has come up with a concept for an immersive hoodie outfitted with a suite of goodies designed to let VR gamers experience sight, sound and touch from the comfort of their favorite sweatshirt.
The Shadow blocks out light and monitors a user’s eye and facial movements via a facemask attachment, has sensor-packed sleeves that stiffen and loosen based on movement, and sewn-in audio equipment that provides sound and vibrations.
According to Artefact, the wearable would offer VR users a new way to interact with each other.
“For the hardcore gamer, inclusion is meaningful primarily in the context of a shared gaming experience,” the firm says. “Eye tracking enables Shadow to detect the user’s emotions, which can be reflected through a virtual avatar or using displays within the mask that mimic the user’s eyes.”
The hood is powered by batteries and there are no cables to attach, allowing users to play completely untethered from a console at all times.
Hopefully it becomes a reality.