The Spider Dress: One Good Wearable Tech Bite Deserves Another

 Dutch fashion tech designer, Anouk Wipprecht,  is all about pushing envelopes, creating new envelopes and exploding from that conventional box type of thinking. Expect everything and anything to emanate from that brilliant minefield referred to as her creative spirit. One of her famous clients is Black-Eyed Peas singer, Fergie Duhame. The Spider Dress is the latest development in her love affair with fashion as it intersects with technology  and engineering.


The Spider Dress: CNBC.comThe Spider Dress:


The Spider Dress

There was an earlier protoype of the Spider Dress, which was created in 2012 in collaboration with engineer, Daniel Schatzmayr. The black dress had shoulder pads that were fitted with six mechanical legs that moved like a spider. In the updated version, Wipprecht uses 3-D printing to create a bodice that greatly resembles a grotesque and alien skeleton. Its unusual workings connote a truly sci-fi experience. This dress is equipped with proximity and respiration sensors, which respond to external stimuli, particularly the invasion of the wearer's personal space.


Mechanical Limbs on Spider Dress: Source: Designboom.comMechanical Limbs on Spider Dress: Source:


In the words of its creator: "The Spider Dress provides an extension of the wearer's intuition. It uses proximity sensors as well as a respiration sensor to both define and protect the personal space of the wearer. It knows  when you are focused or distracted. It know when your heartbeat or stress level rises and it records with a camera when your brain activity is highest...Approach the wearer too aggressively and the mechanical limbs move up to an attack position. Approach the system in calmer circumstances and the dress just might beckon you to come closer  with a smooth, suggestive gesture."

How does the Spider Dress work?

Intel's Edison chip and a respiration sensor enables the 3-D fabricated spider dress, which functions as an interface between the wearer and the nearby environment. The Intel Edison platform was developed with input from Phillip H. Wilck of Studio Palermo. The three sets of spider legs serve fashionably as epaulettes but their robotic power belies another hidden agenda. The spidery limbs react to the sensors when they warn of elevating respiration levels and the approach of another person.


 Spider Dress: Source: Designboom.comSpider Dress: Source:


According to Anouk Wipprecht: "Edison allows me to integrate a super small piece of technology which can quickly compute complicated sets of signals, on-board storage and interconnect wirelessly to a lot of input data at once in a more advanced and inteligent way, to run my designs."

Black shells are implanted with LEDS along the sides of the bodice. They greatly resemble the eyes of a spider and also react to an approach, either flashing warning signs or glowing steadily as a sign of acceptance.

The future of the Spider Dress

There seems little doubt that 3-D printing and micro-controllers have added a new and revolutionary  dimension to the world of high tech fashion. The Spider Dress design is still in testing phase and will debut at the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Some of the designer's previous works include a dress that emits smoke, a self-painting dress and a dress that makes cocktails. Anouk Wipprecht is all about breaking conventional barriers and her creative works prove beyond the shadow of a doubt that the only limitations in fashion are those imposed by the imangination of the designer.

Closing thoughts on personal space:

I like a lot of personal space- like a mile from the nearest person is fine for me. ~ Peter Steele


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