Wearable Technology – It’s Everywhere Or Going to Be
A couple years ago, one of my friends, Brian Kane, was teaching a class at Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) on Wearable Technology. At the end of the class, students had a photoshoot with their creations as well as a runway show. Brian, and artist and tech person, needed an extra set of hands to help with the end of year events, so I pitched in. It was an eye opener. Wearable technology has many definitions and uses. It’s new textiles; new ways to measure/manage body functions; new fashion designs that can even defy gravity. If you do anything today, scroll through the pictures below, See if you are as shocked as I was.
But there is so much more. Take a look at the different types of wearables from fashion to functional and enter the world of Internet of Things (IoT). You maybe surprised what’s possible and could become part of our everyday lives sometime in the future.
Since the students did some truly unique things, I’m going to share some of the pictures from the RISD event first. Then go from there. Check these out …
Gravity Defying Shoes
It was incredible. When they went down the runway, you were puzzled how it was possible. They had a futuristic design and were as stable and useful of any pair in your closet.
I mean look at them, they are gorgeous. With my shoe fetish, this was one of my favorites.
Wait, before we go to the next picture … this is a much more sophisticated description of the class that I found on the designboom website. Read below. Oh and the no caps of the sentences is part of the creative flare I guess.
“as part of an interdisciplinary fashion and technology course at the rhode island school of design, students were asked to explore new aesthetics, narratives, and styles sourced from the latest high-tech materials accessible to an apparel designer. led by brian kane and catherine andreozzi, the young artists and designers investigated the emotional responses elicited by various styles of clothing and the unique, and often quite personal, interaction between wearer and wearable. with a focus on the ever-expanding culture of body-based digitalism — where smartphones are always in pockets and watches can read through your emails — the students were challenged to create not only tech-centric couture, but more importantly, aesthetically significant pieces that connect to people on an emotional and humanistic level.”
Wow … that’s more inspiring than my description. OK back to the student’s genius work.
This is a structured dress with no real anchor in the back. It’s also made of leather tanned with vegetable stain.
This next one is pretty fun … it’s a wearable garden and considered by this student as also a virtual reality. This is creative and whimsical.
Ok … last one of this group — a LED mask that symbolizes the plight of women’s voices being silenced.
That’s right I saved the most political one for last, but it is well designed and exemplified the goal of the class.
Wearable Technology’s World of Sensors
We talked about the Apple Watch above. It’s a technology that relies on sensors to gather information related to your health and activities. Well look what else sensors can do …
These ‘Smart’ Ballet Shoes Digitally Paint Dancers’ Fancy Footwork
Ballet is an exquisite, ephemeral expression. A dancer’s delicate footwork vanishes into thin air as quickly as it’s created, but it doesn’t have to. Not anymore.
Enter a pair of “smart” shoes you probably never expected: A sensor-laden pair of E-Traces ballet shoes strapped to a ballerina’s fancy feet. They’re smart pointe slippers that literally transform ballet into art in motion. They capture dancers’ footwork — every landing, twirl and sweep of the floor. Then transform it into vibrant, multicolor digital drawings and images. This allows the dancer to use pictures as art or a way to watch their skills and improbe their techniques.
What About a Backpack for Bike Riders that let’s people know if they are stopping, turning or riding straight.
How About Adhering Your IPhone to Your Wrist Instead of carrying the device around
That’s right, you synch this patch to your body and can use it with all the features of your smartphone.
There are also sensors that can go under the skin called bio-sensors. These can have a number of functions from tracking to health management. One company Profuse has solves the biggest challenge for this technology … having the body accept vs reject this foreign element from the body. This innovation will advanced this technology quickly. Since it is so unobtrusive, it can create great benefit without having to re-administer or download information. It will simply transmit from the min-device.
There are also a ton that are related to medical or safety purposes, including a smart Band-Aid, but the ones above just struck me as cool and unusual.
Apparently people are also creating fabric that have purposes other than sparkling fashion.
A woman named Linda Worbin is experimenting with this idea.
One example is a thermo crymatic pillow that aids sleep for proper positioning not only for comfort but for restfulness.
Can’t forget the pets … This is the Disco Dog
Saw this on Kickstarter … Disco Dog is the world’s first smartphone controlled LED dog vest. It displays a variety of animated patterns and custom scrolling text in thousands of colors. It’s a fun way to celebrate your dog, and also keeps her visible and safe when it’s dark out. If your dog runs too far away and the connection is lost, the vest will show an automatic “LOST DOG” message, asking bystanders to help the lost pup find her way back.
PreVue Pregnancy Textile Devide Lets Mothers See Their Babies Grow
If they had this when I was pregnant, I’d never sleep, work or anything. I’d be watching all day, 24 hours a day.
Fashion looks at wearable technologies combining all the ideas above plus design that is structured or visible in uncommon ways. Here are 3 noteworthy ideas …
Celebs are doing it.
Some Consider Structured Futuristic Fashion a Wearable Technology.
Where it all started
What else is possible?
Some claim to provide people with super powers such as helping your muscles strengthen when needed enhancing your natural physicality. Just amazing.
Others add glasses with purposes, beyond enhancing sight, as wearable. This includes virtual reality items.
There are also people working on hats that can capture thoughts and turn them into actions to control robots to perform tasks for them. Think how helpful that could be for someone disabled. Or write emails you forgot to do at work while you’re at dinner with someone. They wouldn’t even know. However, that does imply they are super boring company if you are doing that.
Wearable Technology is Here to Stay
There are so many uses and yet to be created uses for the different applications of this technology. The challenge will be how will people choose which to go with.
Let us know your wearable technology and we’ll post it here.
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