From 3D-printed high-heels to Wi-Fi jackets, and watches packed with enough smarts to make James Bond jealous, fashion and technology are – for better or worse – increasingly intertwined. For Paris Fashion Week, designer Hussein Chalayan has teamed up with Intel to create a high-tech outfit straight out of an 80s sci-fi movie, complete with glasses that sense stress and a belt that projects live images of that data onto a wall.
The glasses are running on Intel's Curie, a button-sized module designed as a low-power, versatile "brain" for wearable devices such as Chromat's dress and sports bra, which surfaced at last year's MADE Fashion Week. In this case, the smart specs determine the wearer's stress levels by monitoring biometric data such as brainwave activity via in-built EEG electrodes. There's also an optical heart rate sensor and a microphone that picks up breathing rate.
With Curie's built-in Bluetooth LE, that data is sent to a connected device like a smartphone or, in this case, a belt. Rather than watch your waistline like the Welt, this one uses an Intel Compute Stick to process that information and present it visually. An embedded pico projector then throws that live interpretation of a wearer's stress levels up on a wall for all to see, which sounds like a fairly stressful situation in itself. By focusing on calming themselves down, the wearer is supposed to be able to change that imagery in real-time.
Why? We're not sure, but that's seems to be a common response when you're talking about the world's bleeding-edge fashion runways – with or without an extra dollop of technology.
After Paris Fashion Week wraps up, the collection will be on display from November at the "Fear and Love: Reactions to a Complex World" exhibition at the Design Museum in London.