Smartphone wounds and other high-tech Halloween tricks

Story highlights

  • A former NASA engineer turns smartphones into gory, animated wounds
  • His company Digital Dudz also has a moving eyeball outfit and a giant Facebook profile
  • Other high-tech ideas -- from "Tron" costumes to blinky robots -- can be made at home

Half the fun of Halloween is coming up with new, creative outfits that will blow your friends' minds and maybe scare a few impressionable children. (The other half, obviously, is candy.)

Technology can help.

Take, for example, that classic Halloween accessory, the realistic festering wound. Former NASA employee Mark Rober has created an app that shows animations of moving, oozing innards.

Put your iOS or Android smartphone in a special fleshy case, add a carefully bloodied, ripped T-shirt and you have the iWound. There is also a moving eyeball outfit, and a new effect that makes it look like a hand is ripping out your guts from behind.

Rober first got the idea for mixing Halloween and smartphones in 2011. Using two iPads and the FaceTime video chatting app, he strapped one tablet to his front and the other to the back. The live video feed made it look like there was a hole blasted through the center of his body.

One hit YouTube video later, and Rober had found his new calling. This year, he quit his job as a mechanical engineer at NASA and started Digital Dudz, a company that makes costumes that integrate tablets and smartphones.

You don't need to be an engineer to put together your own high-tech costume though. Portable battery packs, LED lights and cheap motors can all be used to make ingenious costumes. Check out some of the brilliant ideas on Instructables, in Make Magazine or on YouTube, where people like to show off their creations.

    There are also the tech-themed costumes. All you need to be a giant iPhone is some cardboard, paint and patience. If you're going for a minimalist vibe, you can always dress up like a tech company executive -- just add a black shirt or hoodie.