As I'm sure you all know, here at Don't Panic we're pretty big fans of style. Style is great. Fashion is great. Lusting after designer gear that we know we'll never really be able to afford is great. We also love technology. Robots are cool. Gadgets are cool. Even nifty little smartphone apps that let us put cat faces on things are cool.
So, you can imagine our excitement when we get the chance to write about something as interesting as tech-clever clothing. After all, apparel that enhances your day-to-day with clever gizmos and wiring – while still looking fahbulous – really can't be beat. Here are the latest sartorial must-haves from the world of tomorrow (brought to you today).
Designer Diane von Fursrtenberg recently wowed at New York Fashion Week – and not just for the new line of clothes seen at her S/S13 show either. The event saw the debut of Google Glass, the Internet giant’s first foray into wearable technology, which takes the shape of an augmented reality head-mounted glass display. Using Google Glass, stylists, models and even Furstenberg herself captured exclusive behind-the-scenes footage in the week leading up to, and during, the show – which marks the first time that any video (below) has been shot entirely through the device.
Not one for the fashion-shy, the ‘Like Living Organisms’ creation by Dutch design duo Local Androids takes the form of a flesh-coloured artificial skin garment – that actually breathes. Air pumps through ‘veins’ to create a pulse, which increases as someone approaches the wearer. The neckpiece even deflates at being touched, indicating a “sign of trust”. Ahh.
Now this is a hat with a difference. Don't be fooled - though it may look like your typical oversized feathered hat (so fashun, dahhling), it’s actually a highly sophisticated piece of kinetic headwear. Detecting medium wave radio signals (such as mobile phone or TV signals) in the air around it, the hat responds accordingly with movement. Created by artist Ricardo Nascimento, the Taiknam Hat is designed to highlight the increasing volume of electromagnetic radiation (or "electrosmog", as he describes it) occuring in contemporary 21st-century environments.
Designed by Alison Lewis, the ‘Presence of Heart’ dress solves two age-old problems: how to look stylish and let prospective admirers know you’re technically alive. Finally! The garment comes equipped with Erogear sensors that respond to the wearer’s pulse, which then trigger built-in LEDs to glow in time with the rhythm. However, if all else fails with potential suitors-to-be, the dress is a great way to help find your keys on a dark night.
Admit it. In this social media-obsessed world of ours, there’s nothing better than the nice warm feeling you get when someone ‘likes’ something you’ve posted on Facebook. Or is there…? With the Like-A-Hug vest (developed at MIT by Melissa Chow, Andy Payne and Phil Seaton), the inflatable material is hooked up to your Facebook feed, squeezing the wearer in a virtual ‘hug’ every time an online friend likes a post. Who needs real friends anyway?