Adshirt transforms your body into a monetization platform. Companies compete for your advertising space through online bids—and you cash out. Build your reputation with trusted reviews, and ensure a profitable minimum bid by spending time near densely populated spaces. Wear the marketing revolution.

Adshirt in action.

The Adshirt web interface,

Adshirt was a project for Critical Making's final provocation, the wearable. Inspired by tech shirts, Adshirt critiques the relationship between individuality and capitalism. Where do we draw the the line between sacrificing personal expression and making money? As wearables become more intimate and prevalent, Adshirt probes users to explore the nuanced relationships between aesthetics, neoliberalism, and their body.

The Adshirt enclosure, with the components (Raspberry Pi + WiFi dongle + Camera module, Adafruit RGB Matrix Hat, battery) inside.

The Adshirt display: a 3D printed casing for Adafruit's LED Matrix, with velcro straps to attach to your body.

How it works

From a technical standpoint, we use a Meteor.js server to set up API end points which communicate with the Raspberry Pi inside the Adshirt. Each round, the winning bid's advertisement is posted to this API, and the Pi then displays it. The communication is two-way: the Pi also sends photographs and the 'popularity metric' to the webserver.

Software features

User Accounts
Register and log-in, change your avatar, keep track of funds, and save ads.

Ad creation
Support for user generated text ads, image ads, saved previous ads, or canned GIF ads.

User Reviews
Build your reputation, and feel confident about who you're bidding on.

Interactive Bids
Dynamically see the highest bidders each round.

Local Information
See how many people are nearby the Adshirt user, their current location, and even a camera feed of their Adshirt, to make the most informed bid possible.


Know how much you're making, straight to your phone.

Platforms used


Check out our write-up for the full story, including a detailed breakdown of the design process, compiled by Diane! Here is all of our code, and explore our website (or make a few bids yourself!) on

Software (Raspberry Pi, web): Jingyi Li, Michelle Nguyen, Diane Wang
Hardware: Nick Renda
Screenprinting shirt: Joanne Lo