Studio NMinusOne, in collaboration with Rodolphe el-Khoury, has created what may be the first blanket that can feel your touch. It’s called the IM Blanky, and as uncomfortable as this is going to sound, it’s essentially a large, flexible circuit board, fitted with 104 tilt sensors and clusters of filigree-like sensors. An onboard Arduino processes all these datapoints to create a real-time 3-D map of the blanket’s surface, and map is then shared to the Internet. Yes, the IM Blanky has its own IP address.
“Our aim was to investigate the intersection of soft textiles with computation and communication,” co-creator Carol Moukheiber tells Co.Design. “We imagined it as a soft Swiss Army Knife. A 21st-century security blanket that had a myriad of different functionalities.”
The IM Blanky could do all sorts of things when networked with external apps. Imagine a cover that measured your tossing and turning at night, or critiqued your posture or provided your vitals information to a caregiver. Or maybe a bit more wildly, imagine a blanket that, when you hugged it, hugged you back…or a blanket that would tell your spouse if you’ve been faithful.