I fondly remember Linus and his comfort blanket in the Peanuts strip, and I suppose there are still plenty of kids out there who draw comfort from being close to an inanimate object of their affection, such as a teddy bear or a blanket. Well, it seems that the blanket has definitely taken on a high tech slant, turning it into the IM Blanky which is being developed in Canada. The IM Blanky will feature a bunch of sensors that allows it to monitor anything wrapped within, and is capable of creating a real-time 3-D model of its bearer. Assuming such sensors were to be embedded into the invisibility cloak of Harry Potter’s, what other kinds of wizardry could we explore down the road? Back to the IM Blanky though – it has 104 tilt sensors which resemble flower petals alongside a bunch of conductive threads that are able to create a pattern which resembles a traditionally embroidered blanket, albeit with a 21st century slant.
These sensors will “talk” via a wireless connection with a computer which will model the entire blanket’s shape, and according to Rodolphe el-Khoury, co-director of the Responsive Architecture at Daniels at the University of Toronto, the project will offer the traditional blanket “a renewed purpose and relevance in increasingly networked environments.” Artists will most probably have a field day with the IM Blanky when it comes to expressing oneself.