Flutter which comes with the tagline, “Feel your Surroundings” is a creation of Nicolas Farrow, Halley Profita and Nikolaus Correl, currently under Boulder, University of Colorado. Flutter is an invention which can very well be put under a category of fusion of robotics and textiles/fashion. It won the first prize at International Symposium on Wearable Computer Design Exhibition organized in Newcastle, England. It was the winner under two categories, ‘Most Inclusive and Usable Design’ and ‘Best in Show’.
Flutter is a dress which was invented to help people with hearing impairment or hearing disorders. If you are wearing flutter and you are a deaf then it will give a vibrotactile feedback, in response to an alarm or a very loud sound. It will eventually help deaf people to be more responsive and communicative with their surrounding environment so that they have more chance of active in case of emergencies. The best thing about flutter is that it has no side effects whatsoever. Hearing aids and other similar kind of devices generally leave a negative footprint and have a bad impact which is not the case with flutter and hence it is declared to be best. Flutter is considered one of the very few successful attempts to provide a garment that would also act as an instrument to help people with hearing disorders.
The body of flutter is a fusion of textile and robotics. The outer body is made of textiles like polyester and cotton while the inner body is a complex assembly of many microphones which receive different frequencies with different amplitudes and return back to the one wearing it thereby helping in sensing the noises surrounding the person. The microphones attached to the flutter have a very distinct sense of the direction of sound. The sense of direction causes the leaflets on the dress to flutter in the direction from where the sound is coming from or from where the sound originated. Flutter truly fulfills the objective and goal that its tag line “Feel your Surroundings” tries to communicate. It is a boon for people with hearing impairment.