The infamous tacky Christmas sweater that is either loved, ridiculed, or both, each holiday season just got a whole lot better, or worse, depending on your perspective.
Mark Rober is the rocket scientist, literally, behind Digital Dudz animated sweaters, which essentially turns the sweater wearer into a walking GIF, bringing a roaring fireplace, winking Santa Claus or even a snow globe to life on your chest.
Rober is a former engineer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory who quit his day job to create clothes that incorporate smartphone app animations.
The secret to Rober’s Christmas sweaters, for sale on Morphsuits.com, is a Velcro pouch within the sweater sized to hold a smartphone. Sweater wearers then download the Digital Dudz smartphone app, “which brings the costume to life by displaying interactive animations, including beating hearts and moving eyes,” according to the company’s website.
This year’s sweaters, which range in price from $54 to $64, feature a “crackling fireplace,” “caroling kitty,” “creeping Santa” and “snowing snowglobe.”
Rober, who could not be reached today by ABCNews.com, first got the idea to go from scientist to fashion designer after watching his YouTube video for a Halloween costume made gory with the help of two iPads go viral in 2011, he told the New York Daily News.
That video has been viewed nearly four million times.
“”I put it up the day before Halloween, and it went megaviral,” Rober told the paper. “It got me thinking, maybe there’s something here.”