The Bluetooth and the Burqa

BluetoothburqaMy friend Fred was recently in Gaza doing his human rights do-goodery work.  He reported (to us, not the human rights organization) that the pickup scene in cafes is digital.  Youth on the prowl use cell phone bluetooths with handles like “toosexyforyou” to flirt and hook up.  (The woman in question apparently proved too sexy for Fred.) Der Spiegel reports that a Berlin-based artist has made this mating dance even easier (via Sci Tech Daily).

A burqa may not be the flirtiest garment ever invented for women. The highly modest head-to-toe robe even shrouds the eyes, so for centuries it’s been difficult for women wearing them to send suggestive signals to men.

But now a German designer has debuted a digitally-enabled burqa that can broadcast a photo of the wearer to nearby mobile phones. Markus Kison calls it the “CharmingBurka,” and says it isn’t forbidden by Islamic law.

A model demonstrated a prototype of Kison’s garment at the Seamless 2008 design and fashion show in Boston, a high-tech fashion event run with support from the Masschusetts Institute of Technology.

Kison says the burqa has a “digital layer” that incorporates a Bluetooth antenna, which lets women “decide for themselves where they want to position themselves virtually.” Nearby mobile phones that also use Bluetooth will light up with any small file a woman chooses to broadcast as her identity — a photo, a cartoon, a text file or even a sound clip.