Expressive hat defends wearer from undesirable actions


May 23, 2014

Fans on the hat instantly unfold to shield the wearer from loud noises, bright lights or unwanted proximity when triggered (Photo: Sangli Design)

Fans on the hat instantly unfold to shield the wearer from loud noises, bright lights or unwanted proximity when triggered (Photo: Sangli Design)

Image Gallery (3 images)

Sangli Li, an interaction designer, has created a high-tech hat that attempts to defend the wearer from unwanted actions, such as a person suddenly shouting in your ear, or leaning in too close. Small movable fans that decorate the prototype, quickly unfold in a blocking manner, to cover the wearer's eyes, ears or chin, helping them to firmly express alarm without using any words.

Equipped with a number of sensors that detect noise, distance, motion and light, the hat was developed by Li as part of an Intel Design School Network sponsored project.

While we've seen dresses that reflect a person's mood, Li's goal with creating the hat, was to make an expressive wearable that didn't hesitate in instantly conveying the wearer's alarm at undesirable actions, liberating them from having to be polite about it. For instance, if someone tries to touch your cheek, a fan unfolding under the chin, forces them to withdraw.

Other fans, when triggered, shield the wearer's eyes or ears, if anyone startles them with a bright light or loud noise. The prototype lacks any filtering mechanism and isn't intended for daily use says Li; it's more of a haute couture-inspired creation that's designed to be playful about expressing the wearer's attitude.

The video below shows the prototype's defensive actions.

Source: Sangli Design via FastCoDesign

About the Author
Lakshmi Sandhana When Lakshmi first encountered pig's wings in a petri dish, she realized that writing about scientists and imagineers was the perfect way to live in an expanding mind bubble. Articles for Wired, BBC Online, New Scientist, The Economist and Fast Company soon followed. She's currently pursuing her dream of traveling from country to country to not only ferret out cool stories but also indulge outrageously in local street foods. When not working, you'll find her either buried nose deep in a fantasy novel or trying her hand at improvisational comedy. All articles by Lakshmi Sandhana

The best offense is a good ... hat.

Fairly Reasoner point is....? Novelty? I'd sooner wear a diving helmet. I understand those will similarly defend against people shouting in your ear or violating your personal airspace. It goes further by also allowing you get a personal air supply. That was invented almost 200 years ago using pre-Jules Verne era technology. Can your hat do that?


Good idea. I look forward to her(?) swimsuit designs using eye-tracking camera sensors.


What, exactly, is an interaction designer?


This was meant for the 1st of April edition, surely?

Mel Tisdale

Yeah, and if not for the April Fool's edition, then surely it should be slated for the Halloween one! Good freakin' grief, my mind is boggled when I think of the time and energy that was totally wasted on this goofball contraption when something that may have been actually useful was ignored. Unless you really do have a need to keep lots of people from shouting in your ear or touching your cheek when out in public. Does anybody have any stats for those kinds of things occurring? Are people so afraid of possible contact from another that such things are really needed?? Are people that completely rude now, that such devices are needed to ward them off on a daily basis?


Expanded Viewpoint

I see you baby, shakin' that hat... ALRIGHT DON'T TOUCH ME!

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