News / USA

Students Design Futuristic Hi-Tech Clothes

Student Matthew Reading designed a wedding gown with lights and moving parts.
Student Matthew Reading designed a wedding gown with lights and moving parts.
June Soh

The garments we’ll wear in the future will be different than our clothes today. Not just different colors, styles or fabrics. Future fashion will be smart. Our clothes may be able to reduce our stress levels or change color based on our mood.

Several examples of advanced textile technology were showcased by students at MICA - the Maryland Institute College of Arts - recently.

“I think a lot of bridal gowns are just really redundant and I think they need to be more exciting than they already are. They have just become so traditional,” says Matthew Reading, a student in the Wash and Wear Electronics course at Maryland Institute College of Arts or MICA.

Reading sewed washable microcontrollers, called Lilypad Arduinos, onto the bridal gown he designed.

“The red thing, you can use it to program light and motors and different sensors that react to motion and light and temperature. The blue things, those are servo motors.They are tiny motors that can be programmed with a Lilypad and they move back and forth or around. And you can do different kind of kinetic applications with it.”

Reading’s classmate Veronika Olsen focused on more functional applications.  She designed a jacket that she says monitors the wearer’s stress level.  A skin response sensor attached to the sleeve measures the conductivity of the sweat glands.

Tabor Barranti uses a microprocessor to to help her garment change colors.
Tabor Barranti uses a microprocessor to to help her garment change colors.

“I have programmed it in its microprocessor that when your body reaches a certain level of stress, it turns on an audio player that plays then through the headphones," says Olsen. "And it plays binaural beats, which are used to calm you down.”

Artist Annet Couwenberg is a professor in MICA’s fiber department. She developed the Smart Textiles Research Lab two years ago to combine traditional craftsmanship with 21st century technology.

“I think it is the future. We all know that technology and gadgets are getting smaller, that become more flexible, that they are really now being integrated into the tech cells," says Couwenberg. "And that will have a tremendous influence on how we are going to see, where art and technology and fashion are going to meet.”

Tabor Barranti’s idea of future innovative fashion incorporates fabric that can change color. “It really is dynamic so if you decide, 'Oh hey, I want to wear a red dress today,' you can change it from a green dress to a red dress just based on the programming with the microprocessor.”  

Sasha de Koninck is exploring fibers and sound.  She wants to use fabric that can conduct electricity to create a 'performance garment' that makes music. "You play the conductive thread with the spoon and the pressure that you place on the fabric with the spoon changes these numbers which controls the volume."  

Nolla Yuan made an LED studded leather jacket.  It's more of a fun garment, she says, that she could wear to a party.

Everything showcased by the students is a prototype. But their professor, Annet Couwenberg, says smart textiles have a wide range of practical applications and the potential to revolutionize the fashion industry.

You May Like

UN Ambassador Power Highlights Plight of Women Prisoners

She launches the 'Free the 20' campaign, aimed at profiling women being deprived of their freedom around the world More

Satellite Launch Sparks Spectacular Light Show

A slight delay in a satellite launch lit up the Florida sky early this morning More

Fleeing IS Killings in Syria, Family Reaches Bavaria

Exhausted, scared and under-nourished, Khalil and Maha's tale mirrors those of thousands of refugees from war-torn countries who have left their homes in the hopes of finding a better life More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs