Technology and futuristic fashion are the perfect combination. Although the two fields may seem antithetical, when merged together they can create ineffable wonder. Smart clothing as we know it today has yet to reach its full potential, but there are a plethora of modern smart fashion designs that push the limits of imagination and illustrate the joyous relationship of technology and fashion. Below, we present the 10 most exciting and unbelievable futuristic fashion designs that already exist today.
Number Ten: Shape Shifting Footwear. How cool would it be if you could click a button and completely transform the design currently adorning your sneakers? Well, a New York based startup by the name of Shiftwear is making this concept a reality. By use of smartphones and an E Ink display, Shiftwear is giving consumers complete control of their sneaker’s appearance. See a design that piques your interest, then pull up the app, push a button, and presto chango the design is now on your shoes. If you are concerned about the technological aspect, like battery life, and durability don’t fret, because these shoes contain a litany of goodies designed to quell all of your concerns. They harbor 100% machine washable eco-friendly electronics, they are embroidered with Kevlar fiber (the fabric used in bulletproof vest) for durability, and they utilize walk and charge technology; which means as long as you walk your shoes stay charged. And if you’re not a fan walking, the sneakers also possess wireless charging capabilities, so there is no need to worry about your sneaker design fading away during an important outing.
Number Nine: Protest Gear. Protesters can never have too many weapons in the fight against tyranny; which is why designers Xuedi Chen and Pedro G. C. Oliveira are committed to building a stockpile guaranteed to make overthrowing oppression a tad bit more simple. The Backlash Kit contains an assortment of protest fodder: routers, a personal black box, stencils that can only be deciphered by an app, and much much more. The most notable appurtenances in the backlash kit include the Protest bandanna and the panic button. The panic button uses an independent network and alerts everyone within a 15 block radius (who dons a similar device) of impending danger. The button can be worn as a bracelet or a chain and vibrates when danger is lurking. The Protest Bandanna is a smart bandanna that uses cryptic patterns to transmit messages. The brilliance of the smart bandanna lies in the fact that the patterns are not the message, it is more like a conduit to a message. The cryptic technology found in the Backlash Kit makes it great news for protesters, and terrible news for oppressors of the future.
Number Eight: A Sweat Shirt That Lasts For Three Decades. Created by fashion designer Tom Cridland, the 30-year sweatshirt is an Organic crew neck sweatshirt designed to prove that clothing can and should be durable. Cridland guarantees that his sweatshirt will stay free from rips and tears for a period of 30 years, and if someone manages to damage the shirt before their 30-year warranty expires, Cridland will repair the shirt free of charge. The sweatshirt goes for about $85.00, and when considering its lengthy lifespan, it’s worth every penny.
Number Seven: Gloves That Interpret Sign Language. There are a few variations of sign to speech gloves, but they all achieve the goal of bridging the communication gap between the hearing impaired and their aurally inclined counterparts. Groups like Enable Talk and designers like Hadeel Ayoub have already developed sign to speech prototypes, and in the very near future, these gloves could become the bulldozer needed to knock down one of society’s many social barriers.
Number Six: The Braille Smartwatch. There are numerous voice programs that allow the visually impaired to utilize the wonders of technology; however, the braille smart watch, aptly called the Dot, is the first smartwatch that allows users to interact with time and text through the sense of touch. Designed by a South Korean startup, the Dot is the first affordable smartwatch for the blind that uses haptic technology to recreate the sense of touch. Through a set of 24 pins, the smartwatch displays text data via braille. The user has the ability to adjust how fast or slow the information is displayed, and through Bluetooth, the watch can interpret text from web pages, text messages, and ebooks. Also, the watch is pretty good at telling time.
Number Five: A Hoodie Designed For Napping. A company named Hypnos wants to make it easy for us to nap at any time with their oddly clever inflatable hoodie. Unlike most of the items on this list, the inflatable hoodie isn’t equipped with any complex technology; unless of course you believe using your mouth to blow up an inflatable pillow illustrates technical savvy. Technical shortcomings aside, the inflatable hoodie is comfortable, practical, and caters to humanities need for sporadic napping. The product has caused such a clamor, that at the time of this writing it has surpassed its Kickstarter goal by $300,000.
Number Four: Smart Shoes. Digitsole smart shoes are the penultimate smart shoes. They are similar to the aforementioned Shiftwear, in the sense that the footwear’s most captivating features are controlled by a smartphone app; but aside from that tidbit, these shoes have a one of kind design. Digitsole footwear gives the wearer absolute autonomy over the comfort of their footwear. Via the app, wearers can tighten or loosen their shoes, calculate their number of steps, adjust the temperature of each shoe separately, and track the number of calories they burn throughout the day. There are high-top and low-top versions of the sneakers, and the company also offers Smart high heels. All shoes are available for pre-order, and if you aren’t a fan of the shoes from an aesthetic standpoint, Digitsole also offers smart insoles. The insoles fit most shoes and have most, if not all, of the same capabilities as the company’s smart shoe line.
Number Three: Clothing That Morphs. A group from MIT has harvested the power of bacterium in order to innovate a new type of clothing called Second Skin. Second skin has the ability to ventilate based on a person’s body temperature and humidity. The clothing expands and contracts, allowing cool air in when things get hot, and trapping warm air in when things get cold. Second Skin gets its morphing abilities from a bacteria known as bacillus subtilis, better known as the stuff used to make soybeans. After P.H.D. student Dr. Lining Yao discovered that bacillus subtilis shrinks and expands based on the amount of moisture it is exposed to, she knew she could utilize it as an actuator; which is just a fancy way for saying motor to power smart garments. The research being done in MIT won’t just potentially revolutionize the clothing industry, it also has the ability to revolutionize the manufacturing industry because this type of breathable technology won’t be assembled in a factory. Instead, it will be grown in a petri dish.
Number Two: A Jacket That Gives Massages. The great thing about technology is that it has perpetually been able to cater to and satiate our hedonistic affinities. Not too many things embody this notion more than the massage jacket by AiraWear. “The World’s First Smart Comfort Jacket” provides biofeedback, body compression, corrects posture, and uses air to give deep sensuous massages. The jacket isn’t for sale as of yet, but imagine how relaxing life could be if we had the ability to receive furtive massages on demand.
Number One: Smart Bras. Smart technology is permeating all aspects of the fashion world. From our everyday apparel to our accessories there is nothing we wear that is immune to the epidemic known as smart technology. This statement even holds true for our underwear. OMsignal, a company based in San Francisco has invented the OMbra: a smart bra that tracks biometrics, and contains stretchable fabric that adapts and conforms to the wearer’s body while in motion. The bra keeps tabs on heart rates and breathing, and it gathers data based on your workouts to help you go above and beyond your physical fitness goals.