For the most part, clothing is fairly basic — it keeps us warm, covers up body parts we want covered up, and provides us pockets with which we store our stuff.
But some people feel clothing can be much more, especially in the Age of High Technology. Here are some next generation smart clothes that can do a hell of a lot more than make you a fashion plate.
10. Underwear Vibrator
Technology has a reputation for driving couples apart. But in some cases, it can bring them really, really, really close. A sex toy company called Ohmibod has announced its latest product, an embeddable vibrator that can fit into underwear. A “bluemotion” massager in the brief is connected to a Bluetooth chip. All you need to do is download the smartphone app that gives you a control over this massager. Once activated, you or your partner can not only map out vibrating patterns, but also control the speed and intensity of the movement.
The gizmo also packs in a punch by aligning all the movements with the couples’ voices. The toy-gadget has proximity restrictions but the company hopes to enable long-distance capabilities.
9. Air Purifying Dress
The next item in fashion wizardry brings a breath of fresh air to all the tree huggers out there. The Catalytic Clothing research project has unveiled “Herself,” a prototype dress that can purify the surroundings of its wearer. The magic ingredient here is titanium dioxide, mixed with a few chemicals and then sprayed on the gown. When exposed to sunlight, the mixture absorbs nitrogen dioxide and carbon monoxide, two major pollutants.
The innovators call Herself “potentially the world’s first air purifying dress.” Looking at where we are headed, the dress can be the answer to actual challenges in the future.
8. A Garment That Tells You How To Move
Jennifer Darmour, a user experience designer, has recently unveiled her conceptual technology garment “Move,” which aligns the body with correct posture and physical movements. Almost all types of chronic pain has years of incorrect body posture behind it. “Move” aims to rectify this root cause. This extremely wearable fabric has sensors that feel your body movement, compare it with the correct position and send gentle “taps” to places that need readjustment. Yoga, pilates, golf, baseball and even dancing — the garment has figured it all out. Who needs an instructor to help get your posture right?
7. Spray On Clothing
Tight items of clothing, both on fit bodies and bulging ones, usually invite unapologetic stares. To those who want to flaunt it all or to those who want to lap it all up, each extra seam can be a nuisance and eyesore. So, someone out there thought about the best way to get rid of all that stitching and sewing, and invented spray-on fabric as a result. It is not a color that will wash off, but actual fabric. The super formula mixes short fibers with a solvent and a binder. All you have to do is spray from the can, and the magic fabric envelopes you to precisely fit your body shape.
This, of course, means no more sharing of clothes. Once sprayed and dried, you can take it off, wash it, or even dissolve it when you do not like the end product. Aptly called Fabrican, the spray-on material gives a new twist to personalized and custom fit fashion. It also allows sudden alterations, adding personal touch to garments or even mixing fragrances.
6. Thunderstorm Dress
When fashion comes together with visual arts, music, film, dance and theater, we can expect a feast of senses. The Rainbow Winters collection delivers by doing just that. These clothes, made with interactive textiles, change color and pattern when exposed to sunlight. This type of fashion collection has a climax of its own, called the Thunderstorm Dress. The dress is a mesmerizing piece of audio-visual technology. Made with holographic leather and animated electro-luminescent panels, this baby reacts to sound. As the volume increases, the Thunderstorm thingamajig lights up like lightning bolts. Although the collection is made for performers, many of us will not mind getting our hands to a walking light-and-sound show of our own.
5. Transforming Dresses
Need to go club hopping after work? Want to travel ultra light? Dressed up all wrong for a night out? Designer Hussein Chalayan’s creation is perfect outfit for all our fashion problems. Chalayan’s dresses can transform according to your wish, and all you have to do is pull the right string.
His Fall 2013 collection was a stunning finale of years of research into transforming clothes. His show started with models strutting around with overcoats, jackets, dark trousers, and trademark futuristic designs. It reached a climax of sorts when the last few models stepped in with unassuming silk dresses, tugged at the collars, and magically created entirely new outfits. Going by the buzz created by the hypnotic collection, “Peel-off Clothes” is definitely heading to become Oxford Dictionary’s Word of the Year.
And naturally, Chalayan has also designed clothes for Lady Gaga.
4. Dress That Becomes Transparent During Intimate Moments
Dressing up for date night has always been a daunting task for many. After all, how do we know where it will end — at the door or beyond it? Should we go matronly or minimum? Luckily for us, there is finally something that will do all that thinking for you.
But it’s not the mind it is going to read. The Intimacy 2.0 collection, designed by Daan Roosegard, can go from more to less transparent in response to our heartbeats. The Intimacy dresses combine leather and smart e-foils that respond to the variations in our pulse. It might sound like a nightmare to those who like to play R-rated guessing games, but for new school directness, Intimacy 2.0 makes social interactions, as the designer studio puts it, “a sensual play of disclosure.”
3. Shape-Shifting Dress
The fashion quotient of a dress is directly proportionate to the number of eyeballs it grabs. A great dress on the right bod can attract many stares, and with that in mind, designer Ying Gao has created dresses that change shapes when stared at. The designer, with the help of a robotics expert, has employed an eye-tracking technology that makes his dresses respond to staring. Going for an ethereal feel, Gao uses shredded and ruched super organza, sewn with photoluminescent thread with embedded eye-tracking devices. When the dress senses a gaze, its small motors make the fabric move and light up, creating a wave-like effect.
Named (No)Where (Now)Here, it is only a matter of time until these interactive dresses top the must-buy lists of every fashionista in town.
2. Smoke Dress
After lighting up, changing shape, and turning transparent, is there anything else that clothing can do? Dutch designer Anouk Wipprecht believes so, and has created clothing that can smoke up a room in response. Wipprecht’s Smoke Dress is woven together with metallic threads and electric wires, and a battery-driven sensory system on the back of the design measures the wearer’s personal space. When it detects a breach of said space, it sends data to a tiny smoke generator between the shoulders that lets out a cloud of smoke. Camouflage activated! This wireless and wearable shield gives privacy a new dimension by sending out a clear “Do Not Disturb” signal to those who dare trespass. Now the only question is: will the paparazzi get the point?
1. Fart Filtering Underwear
People suffering from claustrophobia rarely get down to the “bottom” of the issue. If they would, they would have discovered that what probably makes them fearful are not closed spaces, but emissions of human gasses in such unventilated areas. The sight of airplanes, elevators, and shared cubicles fills the flatulence-phobic with utter fear and dread.
Luckily for them, the answer to their problems may finally be here in the form of Shreddies, a type of fart-filtering underwear. These underpants contain Zorflex, a material used in chemical warfare suits that can filter the most noxious of odors. Sold as a healthcare product for people with gas issues, Shreddies has already taken the market by a storm. The underwear, designed for both sexes is sold with the motto “Fart with Confidence,” and even comes in quirky gift boxes. It’s the perfect Christmas present for the person who has everything, and who smells like rotten cabbage.