Ripple is designed to help people in social situations wear their hearts on their sleeves — literally.
Created by four Innovation Design Engineering students at the Royal College of Art in London, Ripple is a frame made from either SLA 3-D printed parts or bent wire meant to be worn around a woman’s torso and shoulders. Two built-in cameras monitor who is looking at you and are programmed to classify attraction based on data gathered from monitoring people’s behavior in social situations. The device sends a “ripple” up your back to indicate the person’s interested and adjust your posture to boost self-confidence. The tentacles, made from either laser-cut printed acetate film or plastic tubing with colored plastic inserts, move in your admirer’s direction. If you decide the feeling is mutual and make eye contact, Ripple heats up to help you feel comfortable initiating interaction.
Granted, the object of your affection may be looking because of the two glow stick sea anemones on your shoulders, but who knows? Maybe it’s flirtation’s high-tech future. Though Ripple is currently just a prototype, it could one day be a surefire conversation starter.