Tech companies are moving beyond making motherboards and semiconductor chips to trying their hands at working up wearable devices that meld function and fashion, and the smarter clothing has even found its place in New York Fashion Week.
At a MADE Fashion Week runway show Friday, Intel-enabled smart gear made its way down the catwalk in a collaboration collection with architectural sportswear company Chromat for Spring/Summer 2016.
Two responsive garments stole the show: the Chromat Adrenaline Dress and the Chromat Aeros Sports Bra—both of which can shape shift based on the wearer’s body temperature, adrenaline or stress levels.
Intel’s Curie Module, which the company introduced in January, allows the garments to adapt as they do; the button-sized device with sensors and a shape memory alloy can be added to products like clothing, handbags, fitness trackers and rings, letting makers easily turn them responsive and functional.
Chromat’s Adrenaline Dress has 3-D printed panels and an interlinked, expandable carbon fiber framework. When the sleek black dress senses adrenaline or stress from the wearer, the framework expands into an architectural hourglass shape.
The Aeros Sports Bra serves a bit more of a practical purpose, using shape memory alloys to open vents to cool the body when heat and sweat levels are high. The bra can also adjust based on changes in perspiration, breathing and body temperature and open or close vents to cool or warm the wearer as needed.
“The two garments powered by Intel technology illustrate the potential of future integrations of fashion and technology by bringing innovative concepts and aspirations to life,” Intel said in a post on its blog. “As we continue our exploration with wearable tech and incorporating technology into clothing, we at Intel look forward to empowering and inspiring the fashion industry by elevating the utility of clothing and accessories with intelligent capabilities.”