Artefact's Shadow hoodie immerses wearers in virtual reality
This clothing concept designed by technology and design company Artefact allows gamers to have "the most immersive virtual reality experience" by using an inbuilt computer, battery and sensors (+ slideshow).
The Shadow hoodie is worn over the head, shoulders and arms for experiencing virtual reality (VR), which replicates a real or imagined environment and simulates a user's physical presence within it.
Various VR components are incorporated into the garment are designed for "untethering the user from cables" associated with many of the current hardware options.
A headset covers the eyes, and the hood can be pulled up to further isolate the wearer from the surrounding world. Sleeves incorporate sensors that allow the user to experience tactile interactions with virtual objects.
"Shadow is a suite of VR wearables for gamers who desire the most immersive VR experience and interact with others mainly in the virtual space," said Artefact. "Immersion extends beyond sight – it incorporates the sense of sight, hearing, and touch."
Eye tracking also allows the Shadow hoodie to measure and respond to wearers' emotions – which could be reflected in a virtual avatar.
The hoodie was developed as part of research the company carried out into what the future could hold for VR, and the implications it could have for various aspects of life.
"VR has the potential to change how we consume content," Artefact said. "After years of false starts, the technology is finally sophisticated enough to deliver on its promise to help us forget where we are and allow us to experience things we never thought possible."
First conceived in the 1990s, virtual reality has recently gained momentum with the launch of the Oculus Rift headset and other similar devices.
Designers that have created headsets to facilitate VR experiences include Marshmallow Laser Feast, which created helmets that allowed visitors explore the forest through the eyes of different animals. Digital art studio Field also designed a set of sculptural helmets that housed Oculus Rift headsets.
The technology's potential applications extend to the architecture world. 3D visualiser Olivier Demangel told Dezeen that architects will soon be walking clients through digital models of their designs, while designer Olivier Demangel predicts that virtual architecture will be "more powerful than cocaine".