Design lecturers at Ajman University invent clothing that brings comfort to people with autism

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People with Sensory Processing Disorders (SPD) face many challenges in a world of overwhelming stimulus. But thanks to a new smart garment – developed by Emanuela Corti and Ivan Parati, married lecturers in the College of Architecture, Art, and Design at Ajman University (AU) – comfort could literally be within reach.

Called “Sensewear,” their line of designs can interpret a wearer’s stress level and then initiate functionalities that will help their calm reactions. The product is under continuous development in cooperation with autistic children, their families, and their therapists.

“The technology in Sensewear is hidden in order to increase the level of acceptance and the psychological comfort of the wearer,” Corti explains. “And an app for smartphones and tablets will help monitor the wearer’s condition in different situations while also recording data and progress in getting relief from the garments.”

Sensewear won the top prize in the “Designs for Good” at Dubai’s recent GITEX Future Stars 2019 Expo, which is billed as the biggest startup event in the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia.

“It was not an easy win with all submissions extensively evaluated by a team of highly experienced investors, entrepreneurs, and industry experts,” Corti explains, adding that Sensewear might appeal to an even wider range of wearers than the couple originally imagined.

Some of autism’s symptoms – anxiety, stress and panic attack – affect a variety of people, in addition to those with sensory processing disorders, Corti says. “We realized that Sensewear can have a positive impact on a bigger audience.”

AU Chancellor Karim Seghir says Corti and Parati have greatly contributed to the institution’s culture of innovation and compassion.

“We are proud of their incredible creation, and the contributions Sensewear will make to society,” he says. “It’s gratifying to see them earn international distinction for their impactful concept.”