Wearable Technology On The Rise

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CuteCircuit’s dress is made with 9,000 LED lights that are controlled by an iPhone and can change colors and flash patterns.

We knew it would come sooner or later – wearable technology! That’s right. Designers and tech geeks are incorporating all types of fun gadgets into their designs to make fashion more functional.

“Technology’s so integrated in our lives, it’s like a second brain to us,” said Kit Yarrow, a consumer psychologist at Golden Gate University. “It’s just a no-brainer [that it will be integrated into fashion]…” Take for example a recent symposium at the Fashion Institute of Technology called “Cross-Pollination: Fashion and Technology.” Speakers discussed invisibility cloaks, airbag helmets for bikers, the sustainability of growing skin in a lab instead of killing animals and more.

Suzanne Lee, founder and director of BioCouture, is another who’s joined the conversation. She is working on techniques that use microbes to grow material for apparel. Prada and Armani Exchange have chimed in, designing smart phones for LG and Samsung.Designers are also looking at the potential of 3-D printers, machines that allow consumers to produce three-dimensional objects at home. At her couture show in Paris last week, Iris van Herpen showed platform shoes that were printed and Stephen Jones revealed he’s working on a 3-D printed hat.

Even Apple and Google have latched on to the movement. Google Inc. introduced its hands-free digital interface, Google Glass, at Diane von Furstenberg‘s spring runway show back in September, and Apple Inc. ceo Tim Cook recently described wearable technology as an “incredibly interesting” and “profound area for technology.” “I see it as another very key branch of the tree,” he said, speaking at an All Things Digital conference. He tried the growing fashion trend out when he wore Nike’s $149 FuelBand, a bracelet that syncs up with smartphones and tracks how active the wearer is.

Wearable technology is certainly something to get excited about. Clothes are going to be lighting up and changing patterns and colors at every turn.

- Najja Parker

Source & Photo: WWD

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