Fashion teaches form factor

Most beautiful Tech

As wearable technologies are conquering the hearts of the early adaptors, the business management and marketeers of large players such as Fitbit, Intel, Flextronics and Siemens are redeveloping first prototypes and paying attention to the one thing that will prove the window of opportunity for commercial succes on the mass market: form factor.

Functionality, useability and design have not seen each other´s support to its full potential in wearable technologies. At least not until fairly recently. Whoever manages to counter challenges such as the bulky nature of some wearable technologies, their volume and social status decreasing aspects of the devices will jump the queue in to-market consumer ready products.

Marketeers and product managers have started to pair up with tech-savvy and tech-aficionado designers as part of their promotion plan. In some cases the result is both beautiful and functional, in some cases it is beautiful and impresses the onlooker. However which way it´s angled: it does the job at selling the product.

And that is the life cycle of wearable technologies we have entered into: the preparation for mass adoption by the general public. And beauty sells. So: what do we find beautiful fashionable technology at WT? What impresses us? A shorlist of the most beautiful and remarkable tech we want to wear:

Signalling jewelry and accessories by Deepa SoodCuff_mostbeautifultech

Deepa´s Cuff accessories are smart in the true double meaning of that word. They are designed to look good and to provide the wearer with something very functional: its sensor can be activitated to send out a distress signal to mobile phones of loved ones. It is intended for anyone who wants to feel protected at all times. There are bracelets for teenagers, adults with health issues that will prevent them from reaching a phone on time (a simple touch is enough) or women who like to jog or walk alone with being deprived of their freedom.

Deepa is a speaker at the WTconference in San Francisco on Thursday the 9th of july.


Most beautiful Tech
Photography: Mike Nicolaassen / Hair & Make-up: Angelique Stapelbroek / Model: Julia J. at Fresh Model Management

Solar Tech becomes wearable by Pauline van Dongen

Pauline van Dongen fuses flexible solar cells with fabrics and transforms the 2 into a beautiful, understated and functional design. The cool crisp, quality fabric meets the innovative brain of a remarkable young designer. The garment additionally allows the wearer to charge a mobile phone. Van Dongen´s fashion is very appealing not just for people who like wearable technologies. The integrated solar cells also make the garments look special and unique just by their nature. Additional perk: unlike what you might expect the fabric is not bulky and is therefore very wearable.

Mood pendant catches up with your cell phone

Source: CSR

This smart, connected jewelery made by CSR and Cellini utilizes Bluetooth® enabling technology to create both an interactive as well as functional device. The elegant necklaces hides its micro tech content, although it can show off its savvy character by adjusting the colour(brightness) of the led on the bottom of the pendant. It connects to a smart phone and alerts the wearer when it receives new e-mails or when somebody is calling.  Before manufacturing the pendant CSR comments to have surveyed customers on their attitude towards wearable technologies. The result of that survey the company integrated in the design of the device: it needs to look good. At WT we think they have been successful.

Emotional vs. cognitive input – Skin Probe dress by Philips

The garment is the result of the company´s SKIN probe project which scouts the possibilities of interaction between technology and human emotion via sensors. The investigation therefore shifts the traditional ICT focus of a human inserting cognitive data to the human entering physical data into the machine. Skin temperature and heart rate signal are translated into light patterns and colours onto the fabric.

Technology´s loudest fashion statement so far – Spider dress by Anouk Wipprecht and Daniel Schatzmayr

Photgrapher Mojmir Bures - Spider Dress was designed by software engineer Daniel Schatzmayr and Anouk van Wipprecht.
Photographer Mojmir Bures – Spider Dress was designed by designer Anouk Wipprecht and software engineer Daniel Schatzmayr.


Designer Anouk Wipprecht combines microcontrollers with loud fashion statements. Her designs are both remarkable as well as beautiful, we think at WT.  With provocative concepts as built-in smoke emitting or ink emitting tubes, active materials transforming into transparent or pulsing fabrics and 3D printed shoes no wonder that stage entertainers enthusiastically embrace Wipprecht´s garments. How to best describe what she does? Well…tech couture meets artificial intelligence, movement and interaction. But best is to watch what it does on stage such as Fergie´s dress at the super bowl or see the showcasings of either the robotic spider dress or smoke dress.

Barenaked emotions – Kinetic Dress by Kerry Jia Yi Lin

Source: Vimeo

The fabric of the dress is lined with wires that respond to the emotional state of the wearer. Sensors translate the heart beat pulses to movement which becomes visible through the wires embedded in the dress. It serves as a wearable display of emotions, shortening, lengthening folding and cropping the active fabrics into a a different style of garment. We can´t stop looking.

Silk snails come alive in Ying Gao´s pod dress

The same happens with the design of Ying Gao. The fabrics used in this garment have been made sensitive to light impulse. It becomes alive by the interaction with the onlooker shining a light – for instance flash light – on the dress. The organza silk rolls then start snailing into different shapes and sizes. The garment actually consists of 2 intertwined (interactive) pieces that contain electronic devices.

Cameleon-like dresses by Hussein ChalayanSource: Vimeo.
The British engineer / self-made designer launched his collection of 6 robotic dresses already in 2007 and has continued designing with a love for innovation and tech fusion. These dresses transform from one style and shape into the other by withdrawing hem lines, unfolding and folding of the fabric, magically shortening or lengthening the garment. And not just the garment. Accessories also play an important role in the show. Technologies that are applied are quite traditional but used in a new way: pulleys, wires and small motors.

What lies beneath the Armour suit by Garrison Bespoke

Garrison Bespoke testing bullet proof suit
Source: Garrison Bespoke

Probably not the most innovative design at first sight but that is exactly what its makers are aiming for. The suit company from Toronto integrated armour material in the fabric, keeping the wearer invisibly safe without impairing movement. If you feel you are under risk between or at high profile meetings, now you will be able te feel protected from 9mm bullets and hunting knives.

Carry your poetry with you – Lace Sensor Dresses by Anja Hertenberger and Meg Grant

This collection of white cotton and lace dresses is both beautiful as well as remarkable. It combines sensors and audio devices.There are 3 different models each carry a different poem on the embedded chipboard. We will leave it up to you to read about the artistic connection between the content of the poem and the wearer´s pose on the website below but what happens is this: according to arm gestures and touch of the garments an audio file is activated and you can hear the poem being cited out loud. If you want to make a high impact statement, here is your chance.

First truly fashionable tech-glass design by Diane von Fürstenberg

Source: Google/Youtube

The New York based designer collaborated with Google and pitched the result “DVF | Made for Glass” as ´the first ever glass design with women in mind´. It is also the first time Google has teamed up with a well known fashion designer.
The collection of (sun) glasses was presented at the spring 2013 runway show fashion show. The design does look quite sleek and less ´intrusive´ on the face wrapped in the stylish designs of the innovative fashion designer who is almost in her 70s.

So, which one is your favourite beautiful tech? Comment below!

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