New York-based fashion technology and interactive designer Birce Ozkan has created a smart jacket that mimics the navigational senses of a bird. The piece, called Augmented Jacket, is adorned with black rooster feathers that sit across the shoulders and flutter if the wearer faces north.
Humans do not have an innate sense of direction, but birds have an in-built biological compass that helps them know which way to fly when they move and migrate across the world. This avian sense of direction is based on an ability to detect the earth’s magnetic field.
Ozkan observed that modern humans were reliant on their mobile phones for direction and this limits their ability to be fully aware of their surroundings.
The Augmented Jacket provides an alternative kind of way finding. The black feathers gently move and rise as the wearer walks towards the north. A micro-controller and an electronic compass measure the earth’s magnetic field and a small motors operate the feathers. The jacket uses biomimicry to enhance human nature.