Flair is an experimental interpretation of smart clothing that explores the ability to sense the position, location, orientation and movement of the body via whisker-like projections. Flair is Lotta Julkunen’s Royal College of Art graduate project. Julkunen’s design enhances body awareness and control by giving the user tactile information about their body movement.
Instead of connecting to a smartphone or providing notification alerts, Flair takes advantage of the skin's sophisticated capability of sensing touch and enhances existing human abilities without the use of electronic sensors.
As the wearer moves (or dances or walks) the antennae-like Flair bend and vibrate, sending feedback to the wearer via their own skin. The flexible fibres are in contact with the skin, and as they react to external forces – bending and vibrating – the skin's touch receptors pick up the tactile information. This information can be used to improve body control: the user knows precisely which body parts and muscle groups they are using. Flair is an ideal tool for training specific exercise techniques such as dancing.
In her thesis video, you can see a dancer testing out the effect that the Flair has on muscle-specific movements helping her understand her movements more fully. The dancer confirms that Flair is a useful tool that gives its wearer information on whether or not they are using the correct muscles to perform a particular motion, and helps to time a set of movements correctly.