Brrrr! the city where I live can get some cold weather, which requires thick insulated ski mittens to keep my hands from freezing. This gets frustrating whenever I want to write notes, get something out of my pocket or push buttons on my cellphone. forget about jotting down notes on a scratchpad, punching
buttons on an MP3 player or grabbing a piece of gum.
In these seasons, I wish for a space where my hands could manipulate pen and paper or ital devices. I want a place where my hands can rearrange themselves. However, a huge bulging bubble of cloth might be hazardous or at least comical while walking down the road. Pelicans usually deflate their pouches unless carrying fish, frogs only inflate their pouches when singing, and puffer-fishes keep a narrow profile unless threatened. Even Missy Elliot keeps her balloon-coat on the hanger unless its raining ;).
So how about a selectively expandable pouch that could contract after it had deployed and the user was done with their note-taking or song-changing? Some fabrics already have shape memory alloys like NiTi that contract when heated. They can contract around a wearer to form a tighter fit. Imagine forming a bag, bubble or pouch of NiTi material into the sleeves and front part of a jacket that contract afterwards. Another mechanism might use a pneumatic pump that expands the bubble, with valves so the volume can be reduced afterwards. NiTi fibers can only contract and not expand. Also, the pneumatic option would require airtight seals. Maybe a combination of the two would make up for the drawbacks of each.
When the user is finished with their task, they can push a button inside the cuff or pouch to re-form the bubble towards their body and shrink back down to size.
Power off: fabric can stretch to greater volume. The wearer can jot down ideas, enter commands into a portable device or manipulate objects inside the bubble.
Power on: contracts, to provide more insulation close to skin. The bubble contracts back down to avoid snagging on branches or bumping passers-by.