Navigation is a popular theme for wearable devices. Google Glass is great at taking you to the closest Starbucks, Navigate, a fashionable GPS-enabled coat, will help you find your way to the nearest nightspot, and this DIY Smart Cycling takes you to the nearest Citibike Sharing station.
SuperShoes, by Dhairya Dand, too have typical mapping and wayfinding functionality but with a clever twist. The flexible smart insoles connect to your mobile device to help navigate you to your destination but they also have the ability to learn more about the user — your to-do list, restaurant preferences, favorite hiking spots, etc. Coupling personal data with location-based technologies, of course, is nothing new but using your personal likes and habits as a means to help derail you from your everyday patterns is simply quite fun.
The novel feature of the SuperShoes is that it can instill “acts of random serendipity” — suggest a different route to work in the morning or…Continue
Posted by Syuzi on April 21, 2014 at 2:30pm
Studio XO is singularly attempting to disrupt the fashion industry and what you and I define as fashion. Their vision is so poignant and each of their fashion tech experimentations so progressive, it is safe to say they are Fashion Futurists shaping the future evolution of what we will wear.
What is remarkable is how each project taps into the most primative human desires: the lust to fly or simply be and feel connected. The narratives they weave into their work are not only compelling, but allow us all to connect to it on a more visceral level.
Nancy Tilbury and Benjamin Males of Studio XO have the courage to build what the rest of us might dismiss as impossible.
Posted by Syuzi on April 10, 2014 at 1:00pm
Great news for expert eTextile practitioners: an open call for applications for the eTextile Summer Camp 2014 has just been published on etextile-summercamp.org.
Workshops at the 2013 eTextile Summer Camp. Photo: Meg Grant
The week-long Summer Camp will be held for the second year in a row at the beautiful Paillard Contemporary Arts Center in the small village of Poncé-sur-le-Loir, about 200km south-west of Paris, France. The first Summer Camp took place in 2011 in Sweden.
Designed to bring experts in the field of eTextiles together to share their skills, the event focuses on collaboration, community and craft. As in previous years, most participants will have the opportunity to contribute by designing and running a workshop based on their area of expertise. You can also expect group projects, discussion sessions, swatch books and shared meals. Participants not only get to demonstrate their eTextile abilities, but their culinary skills as well!
Applications can be made via etextile-summercamp.org until April 27, 2014.
Etching circuits on conductive fabrics using batik techniques at the eTextile Summer Camp 2013. Photo: Meg…Continue
Posted by meg on April 9, 2014 at 9:00am
Moving one step closer to developing electronic skin, Yonggang Huang, a Northwestern University professor and John A. Rogers, a University of Illinois professor, have created a thin, flexible eletronic patch for sophisticated wireless health monitoring.
The patch moves and stretches with the body and incorporates commercial, off-the-shelf chip-based electronics.
Once these patches become inexpensive and disposable, I can see a wide variety of applications that go beyond the medical and health monitoring field.
Posted by Syuzi on April 4, 2014 at 10:18am
For the past four years, British musician Imogen Heap has been working on a wearable interactive musical control project called The Gloves Project.
The Gloves incorporate bend sensors and accelerometers to capture movement and gesture data, which is then sent wirelessly to the software of your choice. Built on open source platforms, the gloves are intended to be re-designed, hacked and improved upon.
No stranger to wearable tech, Imogen Heap is working, with a talented team of developers and designers contributing to the project. Development has also benefited from collaborative contributions in the form of workshops and an artist-in-residence programme. Iterations of the gloves' development can be seen on their progress blog.
The project has its roots firmly in DIY innovation, but the team want to start a limited production run as part of ongoing development. They've launched a…Continue
Posted by meg on April 4, 2014 at 8:00am
Posted by Syuzi on April 3, 2014 at 2:20pm
For his Autumn/Winter 2014 collection, Alexander Wang built a collection using heat sensitive fabrics that were laser cut, knit and woven. In the hands of a clever artist, even color-changing inks that often fall prey to gimmickry, were transformed into subtle, sophisticated details that made the clothes seem like they were living.
See the rest of the collection…Continue
Posted by Syuzi on March 28, 2014 at 10:24am
Kicking off the Smart Fabrics Conference in San Francisco on April 23 is an E-Textiles Hack-A-Thon hosted by Sparkfun's Dia Campbell and Pearce Melcher. The workshop runs from 8am-12pm and looks like a great way to dive into wearable tech by getting your hands dirty.
Dynamic Duo: Pearce Melcher and Dia Campbell of Sparkfun
Curious to find out a bit more about the workshop and the ideas behind it, we caught up with Dia Campbell for a sneak preview.
You're likely to have a wide range of people attending the Smart Fabrics Hack-A-Thon, from textile experts to electrical engineers to interaction designers. Do you have any tricks for working with the diverse range of people who attend an event like this?
Dia Campbell: Collaboration! Working with a group of people from a variety of backgrounds is far more interesting than working with a group of people who all know the same things. If you can encourage everyone to pool their skill resources, everyone ends up able to do so much more than they could have done on their own! And that's where the real take-home value of a workshop like this is at. A project that you make in a day and take home has limited utility, but new skills, new tips and tricks, continue to benefit you in future projects.
New collaborators, people you've had a chance to work with and get to know on a small project, can pay off indefinitely! Finding people with skills you need and value, and who can introduce you to new applications for your own…Continue
Posted by meg on March 26, 2014 at 3:43pm
Perhaps you didn't know it, but you're most likely an admirer of Julia Koerner's work. She's the architect who collaborates with Iris van Herpen on many of her incredible 3D printed couture pieces. Julia will be speaking on the second day of the Smart Fabrics Conference in San Francisco, April 23-25, 2014.
Julia was kind enough to take the time to answer a few questions for Fashioning Tech about her trail-blazing work at the intersection of fashion, architecture, the body and technology.
Bio Piracy Dress at Ready To Wear fashion show in March 2014 at Les Docks, Cité de la Mode et du Design, Paris, France. The piece is a creation of Iris van Herpen, Julia Koerner and 3D printing company Materialise. Photo: Michel Zoeter
Your work with Iris van Herpen has brought you to the attention of the fashion world, but you have an impressive portfolio of work ranging from fashion to interior design objects to buildings destined for space. What would you say is most challenging about moving between projects with such differences in scale and application? Do you have to do a "re-set" or are the basic principles the same?
Julia Koerner: The basic principles in the design process are similar for me. Coco Chanel once said: “fashion is like…
Posted by meg on March 20, 2014 at 8:00am
Clothing Plus CEO, Akseli Reho, will be speaking on the first day of the Smart Fabrics Conference in San Francisco, April 23-25 2014. Fashioning Tech readers can get $100 discount to the Smart Fabrics Conference with the code FTECH.
If you're not familiar with Clothing Plus's products, you are missing out - they produce beautifully-manufactured clothing for partner companies, mainly from the sports and medical fields. Cleverly-placed sensors integrated into the very fabric of the garment and body-friendly, flat laminated seams are the hallmarks of Clothing Plus.
Clothing Plus have been in the wearable tech sphere since the late '90s and a Q&A with Akseli brought up some of their surprising history...
Can you tell us a little bit about your background and expertise and what drew you to smart textiles?
Akseli Reho: I have a master's degree in telecommunication and I have always been very interested in problem solving. I did some work for a Finnish outerwear manufacturer called Reima when finishing my thesis in 1997. When Reima wanted to venture into smart clothing the following year I was called onboard to run the project. This led to a joint project between Reima and two Finnish universities and the outcome of the project, a fully functional…Continue
Posted by meg on March 17, 2014 at 6:30am