Aware Fashion Could Help Keep Cell Phones Quiet in Theaters and at Concerts


We’ve all been there, that moment when you’re sitting in the theaters, enjoying a film that you paid $12 to see + $5 for popcorn and $3 for a drink just because it’s on a bigger screen and some jerk in front of you keeps answering his text message. While you could get up to tell him that the flashing light is disturbing your movie viewing experience, you’re more concerned about making a scene and wish the usher would handle it. Unfortunately, the usher usually doesn’t know who’s using their phone. Aware Fashion on the other hand has this well in control with a shirt that lights up when a nearby phone activates, essentially letting the usher know that someone is using their phone and they have to do something.


The AwareFashion Shirt

The AwareFashion shirt was designed by Richard Etter to alert people to when cell phones were activated within range of its sensor. The shirt, which features light up cuffs to serve as an alert, and uses an antenna to detect radio waves used by cell phones. While Etter has a few odd reasons for designing the shirt like he did (so that wearers aren’t mistaken for aliens) he made it as normal as possible so that the shirt can actually be worn as a traditional button down shirt while not in use. The electronics can also be easily snapped out so that the shirt can be washed making it extremely easy to use. The LEDs in the cuffs also come in a variety of different colors, making the shirt customizable as well.


How Does it Work?

The AwareFashion shirt works using a tiny antenna, a circuit board, and button cells, with fiber optics that have been woven into the cuffs. The Antenna picks up GSM mobile radio waves at 800Mhz which then trigger the LED lights in the cuffs. When someone’s phone activates and receives or broadcasts GSM, the shirt lights up and tells the wearer that someone nearby is using their phone. The usher could then look for the individual and ask them to stop, or escort them out depending on the situation.



While the AwareFashion shirt sounds very cool to most of us, especially in that it’s wearable fashion that doesn’t look conspicuous, a lot of people think it’s pointless. Most theatres believe that their ushers would rather have similar sensors built into their flashlights or onto a small beeper than to have it built into their uniform simply because it is more familiar. Essentially, most people think that the Aware Fashion shirt is a waste of space and the designer could have put their ideas to better use.
However, the AwareFashion shirt is extremely versatile and can even be used with other AwareFashion technologies like the AwareCuffs, or even other sensors so long as they fit into the pocket designed for the GSM antenna. Etter has also designed cuffs that sense WiFi, and the two can be used in tandem.
Richard Etters eponymous website explains more about how both work and how you can get them.