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Wardrobe monitor, a smart choice!

Aug '07
Can't remember what you wore to a special party with friends but don't want to be seen in the same outfit when you catch up with them again?

If you thought that this was reason enough to buy new clothes, researchers from the University of South Australia have been developing a smart solution for managing your wardrobe that could save you money on last minute shopping sprees.

Researchers from UniSA's Wearable Computer Laboratory have been developing garment integrated electronic technology that can tell you what you wore to the last party, where you've worn it, what accessories you wore with it, and more.

It can even help you choose a suitable outfit from your smart wardrobe for your next get together with friends, according to Professor Bruce Thomas, Director of the Wearable Computer Laboratory.

While not the first to think of this technology, Prof Thomas points out that his researchers are the first worldwide to develop smart garment management technology that works.

“Our technology includes a computerised wardrobe with electronic hangers and garments embedded with tiny electronics that enable wireless monitoring, data downloads and many other features,” Prof Thomas said.

“The smart wardrobe has a touch screen on the outside and conductive metal bands spanning the hanging rail inside, with wires connecting it to a computer in the base of the wardrobe. When electronic hangers, each with their own ID and metal connection, are placed on the rail, the metal band in the rail detects the hangers and their smart garments, which incorporate conductive material and integrated electronics,” he said.

“Through this connection the computer identifies, for example, that hanger 123 has suit 45 on it, and monitors where and when it has been worn, and even how many times it has been worn since it was last washed or dry-cleaned,” Prof Thomas said.

Computer and information science PhD student Aaron Toney has developed an alert function that tells smart wardrobe users when garments need to be dry-cleaned.

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