My graduate school thesis written in 2005 is a user interface for wearable technology called Discreet Interfaces. Its basic idea revolved around making the technology that is embedded into the garment as noninvasive as possible both by sight and by touch. Therefore, the switches which controlled the technology were hidden, and the materials I used for connectors were as close to any type of material that would be found on traditional clothing. Discreet Interfaces was designed to not disrupt the social messages that our clothes carry, while still wearing embedded technology, and made clothing with technology feel just like clothing without it.
When it comes to games, however, the desired effect is the complete opposite — we want the wearer to be aware that she’s wearing it. We want her to feel that drastic difference between being a normal person and someone who posses super powers (See previous blog entry). In order to achieve this, we create something that looks out of the ordinary, and feels out of the ordinary.
The Ninetendo Power Glove is a wonderful example of Wearable Technology in games. In its ads, it looks futuristic (armor-like), charged with power (added electrical spark effects), and very cool (worn with Risky Business Ray-Ban sun glasses). It will change you as soon as you wear it. “Once you put it on, everything else becomes child’s play.”