Flutter, a shirt deeply embedding sensing, computation, actuation and communication to direct the deaf

Intelligent Cloth

We wish to make garments intelligent by deeply embedding sensing, computation, actuation and computation into the fabric. These smart fabrics will be amorphous and can cut into arbitrary shapes, yet maintain their function as there is no “central” computational element.

We are currently focusing on concept work that relies on embedding identical microcontrollers that are networked with each other throughout the material. The first instance of such a work is “Flutter”, a t-shirt that can help deaf people to localize the direction of sound. The shirt embeds a network of microphones to detect the direction of sounds and display them via vibrating winglets on the shirt’s surface. Each microphone locally performs a Fast-Fourier-Transform (FFT) to determine frequencies and their amplitude of incoming sounds. These information are then shared between microphones to detect the position of the strongest sample.


Microcontroller arrangement and networking without textiles


H. Profita, N. Farrow and N. Correll. Flutter. In adjunct Proceedings of the 16th International Symposium on Wearable Computers (ISWC), pages 44-46, Newcastle upon Tyne, June 2012.



  • National Science Foundation

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One Response to Intelligent Cloth

  1. […] It aimed at helping folks who have trouble hearing stay safe (e.g., if a car honks a car horn) (http://correll.cs.colorado.edu/?page_id=2353).  In addition to watches (http://getpebble.com/) and glasses […]

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