Nivpat zeroes in on the artwork in these specially made T-shirts to give you more info a lot like a QR code.
(Credit: Screenshot by Jason Parker/CNET)
LAS VEGAS--Nivpat (which stands for noninvasive pattern) is an app that interacts with T-shirts you can buy from the Nivpat Web site that let you scan a shirt with your phone to learn more about the wearer via popular social networks. At the time of this writing, this app is one of the finalists for the Mobile App Showdown at CES 2013.
The way it works is the shirt comes in six basic designs, but each shirt has one design element (like an extra line) that makes each shirt unique. When you see someone wearing one of the colorful shirts, you simply launch the app and point it at the person, and a circle appears around the design. From there, you'll get a profile page for the wearer, where you can view the name and other info from social networks that's linked to the shirt. The shirt is not always on, though. Wearers have the option to "turn it off" so unwanted scans will turn up nothing.
The developers of the system want to make the Nivpat technology available to businesses so people can scan shirts to get more information like you would scan a QR code. The app's scanning capabilities are so good that you can even scan a person's shirt if he's on TV.
Nivpat is free at the App Store, but you'll need to purchase the shirt (and find other people with the shirts) for the app to be useful.