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Fancy Hat Shields You From Bright Lights, Big City Jerks

Protective headgear meets high fashion.

Fancy Hat Shields You From Bright Lights, Big City Jerks
[Image: Sangli Li, 2014]

Expressive Wearables, by interaction designer Sangli Li, at California’s Art Center College of Design, uses clothing as a loud-and-clear communication tool to express your dismay at unwanted or unsavory interactions. The hat is adorned with small fans (like the hand-held variety wielded by 17th-century ladies) that fold and unfold when you get accosted with loud noise, bright lights, or a body that comes too close.

This hat has no social filter. Inspired by haute couture clothing, which is expressive rather than utilitarian, the hat is designed to shout out your attitude. When a bright light flashes in your face, the fans unfold and cover your eyes. If that’s not polite, well, neither was the light. If someone yells at you or gets too close, other fans fold over your ears to physically signal that you are not listening.

The prototype–which uses sensors to detect light, noise, and motion–emerged during an Intel-sponsored class on wearable technology. The piece of fashion-forward wearable tech looks like a Steampunk take on Kentucky Derby fashion, and functions like a celebrity body guard.

About the author

Shaunacy Ferro is a Brooklyn-based writer covering architecture, urban design and the sciences. She's on a lifelong quest for the perfect donut.