Now, who wouldn’t this be a good gift for (extreme introverts aside)? San Francisco-based interactive apparel maker hem/\haus, which just exceeded their current $10,000 crowdfunding goal, will get be getting their human etch-a-sketch clothing onto you soon enough. The just company needs to hit $25,000 total to hit its fabric and garment-making minimums for their patent-pending process, which we have no doubt they’ll do, given the current popularity of crowdfunded, American-made clothing ventures.
Here’s how it works. Using a laser pointer, draw anything on the clothing, which presumably, someone is actually wearing. The garment will stay brightly illuminated by any source of UV light for five to ten minutes, before gradually fading away to an ambient glow that lasts for hours. Eventually the clothes again become a blank canvas. “These pieces are truly interactive and serve as amazing catalysts for social engagement at any party or event,” explains JJ O’Brien, hem/\haus’ founder.
O’Brien, a graduate of Stanford’s Business School, got set on his glowing clothing path when he made a costume for Burning Man, a week long arts and music festival, set in the desert, where most of the action takes place after nightfall. A way to light one’s way is essential on the pitch-dark playa. The fun, wearable technology behind glow/\republic, an extension of hem/\haus, represents both a solution to that need and a reflection of Burning Man’s interactive, creative ethos. O’Brien is developing his commercial clothing line by weaving phosphorescent crystals into the fabric of the garments, which will include t-shirts, tanks, and dresses.
With sufficient funding, delivery is expected by March 2014. A little late to give the gift of light, literally speaking, for this year’s holidays, but with plenty of time to get your wearable tech in order for the next Burning Man.