The Material of the Flutter Dress Responds to the Vibrations of Sound

Those with a hearing impairment rely a little more on what their other four senses can tell them about their surroundings. I bet you would not have expected that something like the Flutter Dress -- or any other item of clothing -- might be able to further aid a deaf person in interpreting her environment.

Halley Profita, Professor Nikolaus Correll and Nicholas Farrow have worked together on this example of truly hi-tech fashion. Sewn from polyester and cotton material, it integrates a hidden dimension that's a complex network of wires with microphones and vibration motors.

The lightweight fins and tassels of the Flutter Dress flap in response to auditory stimuli. When the mics detect sound, the motors are activated along the gown, down the side that's facing the direction of the noise.