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"The concept of putting the technology behind a cell phone into something truly wearable and everyday is what this project stands to represent."

A portable, wearable phone.


Have you ever wondered what the future of a mobile interfaces could be? What will replace the smart phone, which replaced the dumb phone, the pager and the PDA before it. A cell phone or mobile phone is a device that can make and receive telephone calls over a cellular network. Modern phones have a variety of services such as text messaging, multimedia messages, email, internet, applications, photography and bluetooth.

Yet over the years we’ve yet to offer an alternative interface that wasn’t a handheld device. Improvements to the technology in the form of smart watches and google glass are enhancing the possibilities but what if we pushed the envelope just a little more? Rucha Patwardhan and Alina Balean set to explore that question. They are both graduate students at NYU’s ITP and over this spring semester they explored the ways fabric can be used with electronics. In a course called “Towers of Power” they learned how to DIY a cell phone with an Arduino and an Arduino GSM shield.

They knew that they wanted to build an object that isn’t a piece of glass that lives in a pocket. The smart hoodie was born. The concept of putting the technology instead a cell phone into something truly wearable and everyday is what this project stands to represent. Gestures that used to require your fingers on a tiny piece of glass now are translated into everyday movement, buttons no more. The future of communication is in our hands… or arms not just our fingers.

I want one!

Who we are

Two design and engineering chicks

Team Member
Alina Balean

Alina Balean is a 2015 Master’s candidate at New York University’s Interactive Telecommunication Program (ITP) in the Tisch School. She’s an innovative, ambitious and creative individual with extensive professional experience creating visual campaigns and overseeing art direction for various companies in multiple industries and now designing texting sweaters.

Team Member
Rucha Patwardhan

Rucha Patwardhan is a user experience designer and prototyper. Her current explorations aim at creating user centric experiences around soft circuits and wearable computing. She believes that curiosity forms the basis of her evolving projects.
She is currently pursuing her Master's degree at the Interactive Telecommunication Program (ITP) at New York University.