Two years ago, a NASA engineer named Mark Rober emailed us a halloween costume that used two iPads to make it look like you had a gaping hole in your stomach. This year the system is both more refined and more gruesome.
Last year's costumes (dubbed Digital Dudz) were cool if, frankly, a little janky. They involved hand-cutting strategic pieces out of a shirt (like an eye, for instance), and then duct-taping your phone or tablet to the inside of it so it could play a looping animation through an Android or iOS app. This year, all of the Digital Dudz shirts have built-in pouches that can accommodate any sized phone. They velcro down, nice and tight, which takes a lot of the hassle out of it. Trying to un-duct-tape your phone every time you get a text kinda sucks a lot.
The app is much-improved as well. In addition to there being more animations to choose from, this year all of the animations are now HD, unlocked, and completely free (no ads, either). This means you could buy one of the paired Digital Dudz shirts, or you could DIY yourself a really sweet costume for zero dollars.
Our favourite new feature, though, has got to be the gut-ripping. You'll need a partner to make the magic happen, but as you can see in the video (or the GIF above), a jab to the back is picked up by your phone's accelerometer, which triggers the animation to play a hand tearing out your innards. Just, y'know, maybe don't use that one around little kids.
The shirts and "iWounds" are all $US30, with more fully featured costumes (like dead pirates with still-beating hearts) going for $US50. Hope people buy it, because Mark just quit his job at NASA. He plans to devote his new surplus of time to kicking these costumes up another level for next year, with more interactive features. Can't wait to see that. I wore the frantically moving eye shirt last year to a party, and it was a major hit. If you go for any of these costumes this year, please leave a pic in the discussion below. [Digital Dudz]