Over the years more and more people have become interested in the ever -expanding field of wearable technology. The fascination for the potential combination of technology and textiles/fashion attracts designers and scientists. The word ‘wearable tech’ may conjure up images of Robo Cop-esque suits, so some designers are hoping to introduce high-tech fashion that's accessible to the average shopper.
Wearable gadgets and garments are currently not ready to wear, but fashion moguls and global tech authorities are finally working together to fix that problem. Design as a function isn't a new idea. The fashion industry thinks about it differently, and the tech industry is starting to listen. Technology company ‘Intel’ announced a collaboration between the fashion industry and the tech industry, including Open Ceremony and the Council of Fashion Designers of America, to make wearables more beautiful.
Fashion is about aesthetic and personality and how something looks on you, and how it makes you feel when you're wearing it. "The things we wear are personal reflections of ourselves," said Ayse Ildeniz, vice president of business development and strategy for Intel's New Devices Group. "We somehow get emotionally connected to them." With the way wearables are designed today, they do not evoke the same personal attachment as, for example a Gucci bag. Wearables are tech-savvy rather than fashionable."
Designers are also making it a priority to reach out to tech companies to put their stamps on gadgets. FitBit announced a collaboration with Tory Burch to make fashionable necklaces and bracelets for its activity-tracking devices — and Burch approached FitBit, not the other way around. Unfortunately, only a prototype is ready right now.
More and more ideas for fashion-tech pieces are popping up. Still the challenge is to design and combine fashion and technology in a visually appealing manner.
Resource Sam Byford
CuteCircuit was the first fashion company to put LED’s in clothing
Designer Mae Yokoyama’s solar panel necklace harvests energy from the sun and the bulbs light up
This smart shirt tank top concept by ElectricFoxy uses four motion sensor built into the tank top to monitor motion accuracy and act as a built in personal trainer.
M_A_C_H_I_N_A MIDI controller jacket has built in position sensors, an accelerometer, and flex sensors to connect smartphone.
New York City-based group TheLaserGirls sells 3D-printed nails that feature geometric, eye-catching designs.
Two women from Atlanta launch a fashion-conscious alternative called MEMI.Marketed as a smart bracelet “made by women for women,” the device looks just like any other silver bracelet, but contains a link to your smartphone. MEMI alerts you to important phone calls by silently vibrating on your wrist.
MEMI vibrating wrist band
Spray –on dress by Fabrican
Sonic Fabric Dress by Alyce Santoro made from recycled cassette tapes