24th October 2012


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Ballantine’s take the original canvas of personal expression, the t-shirt, and upgrade it for the digital age.   Image: Making of the tshirtOS prototype.   Whisky brand Ballantine’s is aiming to create “the world’s first digital t-shirt” - a programmable tee embedded with an ultra-thin LED screen that can be controlled by your smartphone and displays tweets and even takes pics and posts them to your Instagram feed. In addition, it has a motion sensor, headphone plug-in and megapixel camera – a wearable platform for self-expression.   The idea was conceived out of wearable tech company CuteCircuit and London agency Work Club who also debuted a short film, directed by Kim Gehrig, showing the adventures of a geeky duo who take tshirtOS out after midnight.   “Easy to use- the tshirtOS features 1,024 LEDs arranged in a 32 by 32 grid,  it is controlled using an App in your mobile phone allowing you to broadcast nearly anything and that’s not all… tshirtOS includes a built-in micro-camera, microphone, accelerometer and speakers,” says CuteCircuit.   Digital creatives, MediaMonks, have already been awarded two FWA awards for the creation of the iOS app and a website award for the Facebook Tab of the special shirt. The work   also won Silver at the Lovie Awards.    “Self-expression is what it’s all about at whiskey brand Ballentine’s,” says MediaMonks.   “Therefore, we wanted to create a platform that connects with the digital age and that facilitates exactly this. The t-shirt offers new ways of communicating: sharing a Facebook status, Twitter message, music or full colour pictures; this shirt does it all.” The brand’s previous digital experiments have included the Human API letting people interact with artists in real time. TshirtOS, for now, is just a prototype, but if enough fans show their support for it on the tshirtOS Facebook page, Ballantine's will look into making the product available for real. Check out one of the prototype tests here.     Video: Wearable tech company CuteCircuit and agency Social Club, debuted the film, directed by Kim Gehrig, showing the story of a geeky duo and how fabulous and sci-fi life would be if this shirt actually went into mass production.

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