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

Pundits Split Over Long-Term US Role in Afghanistan

Security pact remains condition for American presence beyond 2014; deadline criticized More

US Eyes Islamic State Threat

Officials warn that IS could pose a threat to US homeland More

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Moscow says Russian troops crossed into Ukrainian territory by mistake 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.
Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocksi
X
George Putic
August 25, 2014 4:00 PM
How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Ukrainian officials say they have captured Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory -- the latest accusation of Moscow's involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the Ukrainian side of the battle, where soldiers are convinced of Russia's role.
Video

Video Rubber May Soon Come From Dandelions

Synthetic rubber has been around for more than a century, but quality tires for cars, trucks and aircraft still need up to 40 percent or more natural rubber content. As the source of natural rubber, the rubber tree, is prone to disease and can be affected by bad weather. So scientists are looking for replacements. And as VOA’s George Putic reports, they may have found one in a ubiquitous weed.
Video

Video Jewish Life in Argentina Reflected in Yiddish Tango

Jewish people from across Europe and Russia have been immigrating to Argentina for hundreds of years. They brought with them dance music that was eventually mixed with Argentine tango. The result is Yiddish tango -- a fusion of melodies and cultural experiences that is still evolving today. Elizabeth Lee reports on how one band is bringing Yiddish tango to Los Angeles.
Video

Video Peace Returns to Ferguson as Community Tries to Heal

Thousands of people nationwide are expected to attend funeral services Monday in the U.S. Midwestern city of St. Louis, Missouri, for Michael Brown, the unarmed African-American teenager who was fatally shot by a white police officer August 9 in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson. The shooting touched off days of violent demonstrations there, resulting in more than 100 arrests. VOA's Chris Simkins reports from Ferguson where the community is trying to move on after weeks of racial tension.
Video

Video Meeting in Minsk May Hinge on Putin Story

The presidents of Russia and Ukraine are expected to meet face-to-face Tuesday in Minsk, along with European leaders, for talks on the situation in Ukraine. Political analysts say the much welcomed dialogue could help bring an end to months of deadly clashes between pro-Russia separatists and Ukrainian forces in the country's southeast. But much depends on the actions of one man, Russian President Vladimir Putin. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Artists Shun Russia's Profanity Law

Russia in July enacted a law threatening fines for publicly displayed profanity in media, films, literature, music and theater. The restriction, the toughest since the Soviet era, aims to protect the Russian language and culture and has been welcomed by those who say cursing is getting out of control. But many artists reject the move as a patronizing and ineffective act of censorship in line with a string of conservative morality laws. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video British Fighters on Frontline of ISIS Information War

Security services are racing to identify the Islamic State militant who beheaded U.S. journalist James Foley in Syria. The murderer spoke English on camera with a British accent. It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for the Islamic State, also called ISIL or ISIS, alongside thousands of other foreign jihadists. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from the center of the investigation in London.

AppleAndroid