The three friends with funny ideas, George, Steven and Florian met one day start a work on their t-shirt that makes it easier to communicate in a foreign language when you are traveling. The idea was born when one of them traveled by motorbike in Vietnam, and the bike just broke down.
That same day, after couple of drinks, they came to that crazy idea of the t-shirt that speaks any human language just by having symbols or icons that can be used to communicate with people when you don’t know a word of their language. The same night, they finished the famous shirt with all essential symbols and icons on it, having it available at any time.
“Many times we were confronted with a language barrier that was only to be overcome by drawing signs, symbols or icons on a piece of paper, map, or into the dirt,” explain George, Steven, and Florian to BoredPanda. “We thought it would be great to have an essential set of icons with you, permanently, so that you could just point on whatever you need – and people would understand. Soon the notepad was pulled out again and we started listing more or less essential icons that would have been of great help during not just ours, but basically anyone’s trip.”
ICONSPEAK was founded in and is driven forward since 2015 by three friends making their goals ambitious, brainstorming sessions chaotic, organization comic and results mesmerizing. As the guys said, they are committed to provide all of us with amazing simplicity and honest quality in all their products.
“When were you the last time in a situation where no language or hand gesture that you master was sufficient to get you what you wanted? Imagine you are abroad – in a foreign country, in a foreign culture, maybe while travelling the world. That’s what we did, travelling the world – partially, well the three of us combined almost completely. In the furthest and deepest corners of our world we were repeatedly left with no words, either in breathtaking awe due to the sceneries or in empty silence, due to our lacking linguistic talents. Such situations got us thinking about how to bridge language barriers with utmost simplicity, on a global level. The answer came to us after a remarkable experience in the depths of Vietnamese backcountry ICONs. Because with ICONs, you can SPEAK, you can SPEAK to the world. Simplicity was always a trait that unites us in many forms, call it lazy or genius, but we like to keep it simple. And hence follows our starting point of how to bridge the language barriers of our world: a shirt. Through a shirt you can – in the most rudimentary ways – combine gestures, vocals and mimics to create interaction. A shirt does not need to be recharged and still, you can have it on as long as you please. Furthermore you won’t have to worry that we will send you software updates to your shirt which will make it uncomfortable to wear, slow to wash or any such thing. It’s a shirt. This is where we start, but not where we will stop – the challenges on our way to bridge the language barriers of our world are manifold and will lead us to platforms and mediums other than textile as well…” – they explained on their official page.