Prolific New York designer Joe Doucet’s portfolio of work spans a wide berth of projects – bicycles, spirits, brand identity, furniture, electronics, architecture – the reflection of a polygot mind driven by a self-described condition of “debilitating curiosity“, grounded in a humble sense of purpose to improve common objects.
His latest project – Woven into the Future – is a collaboration between the NY designer and Reebok: a set of GPS-enabled gloves offering runners, walkers, and bicyclists turn-by-turn direction using light and touch.
The trio of exploratory prototypes represent Woven into the Future, a conceptual collection incorporating Flexweave, a proprietary material originally engineered by Reebok to deliver lightweight, durable, and form fit comfort for their athletic footwear line.
Doucet reimagined Flexweave beyond its footwear iteration, turning the performance fiber characterized by its figure-8 weave into fingerless gloves with directional technology woven right into the form factor.
When asked about the motivations behind designing a glove, Doucet explains, “We noticed that one part of the material was lightweight and breathable, and another more structured and textured with a surface that had more of a grip. It was really these properties that led us to consider a glove.”
In regards to the gloves app-enabled technology, it’s purely in a beta state, but an investigation rooted in connectivity and low energy/high output LEDs, both already available today.
“The gloves link directly to your phone via Bluetooth and provide direction on the fly to your desired destination. Both lights and haptic feedback help lead the way: the lights are a bit more useful in a biking situation where vibrations from the handlebars might make the haptic buzzing less noticeable. The vibration is a bit more useful in a running situation.”
Other design partnerships for the Woven into the Future collection include an altitude-training mask from the UK design collective, Modla, and an “active seat” from Dutch collective Odd Matter. But if we were to place bets, we’d wager it would be Joe Doucet’s design most likely to make the short leap across from “cool idea” into the next new thing in consumer wearables.