the ‘freedom in interactive wearable art’ project


I first heard about the Freedom in Interactive Wearable Art (FiiWA) from Tracy Gromek and Marcus Pingel at FashionCamp NYC 2009, where they discussed the challenges involved in creating safe, sturdy and adequate sporting equipment for visually impaired persons. Here’s a description of their creative and constructive project:

FiiWA (Freedom in Interactive Wearable Art) is a suite of sporting equipment for persons who are visually impaired. The FiiWA Vest, Ball, Armbands and Goal Pads use sound, vibration, and light cues to orient and guide users unescorted to their team members, through the play area, and to the equipment.

FiiWA’s flexibility allows for outdoor or indoor play. Users can shape and create individual games incorporating as little or as much of the equipment as they would like, retaining complete power to adapt the experience to the player’s ability levels and interests. By ameliorating the distinction between sighted and non-sighted competition, broadening the pool of potential playmates, and building confidence, FiiWA empowers those with visual impairments to overcome the barriers of sensorial deficiencies and to realize new levels of independence.

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