The Synapse Dress: High Tech Couture That Reveals Emotions

What do you think about a dress that allows the wearer to literally wear her heart on her sleeve? The Synapse Dress does just that via the integration of Intel's Edison chip and a range of sensors that display on the outside what the wearer is really feeling. Dutch Fashion Tech Designer, Anouk Wipprecht, in collaboration with Italian architect, Niccolo Casas, 3-D printed at Materialise from an elastic material called thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) and the Intel Edison chip has created the utimate smart garment. The designer firmly believes that this dress marks the transformation of technology from the role of mere device to one of integrated function.


The Synapse Dress: Source: 3D Print.comThe Synapse Dress: Source: 3D


The designer's mission

Anouk's fashion focus lies in her over-the-top, high-tech-meets-fashion style, which appeals to a broad audience. Her creations challenge conventional human communication when impacted by state-of-the-art materials joined with smart sensor actuators. Smart gadgets and watches have not only arrived, they have flooded the fashionable electronics marketplace, and the field of smart and interactive fabrics is wide open and only begining to scratch the fashion world surface.


Synapse Dress on Runway: Source:Tomsguide.comSynapse Dress on Runway:


Anouk's vision goes far beyond the scope of predictable couture. Her creativity is dominated by a fascination for clothing design that blends seamelssly with technology to morph into innovatve wearables the world could never have imagined.  One prime example is her addition of the Intel Edison chip implanted in the Synapse Dress, which was unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) earlier this year.   

In the designer's own words:

"We came a long way but the fashion system and the technology system are still two completely different entities. This needs to collide much more in order for a new field like interactive garments and smart textiles to flourish. We are finally at a time that designers, technologists, companies and industries are talking and creating functional and admirable prototypes..."

What is the Intel Edison chip?

The Intel Edison chip is a tiny computer, which runs Linnux and has built-in WiFi and Bluetooth modules. It is the method in which this designer utilizes the chip that is so innovative. She has combined it with diverse sensors so that it lights up embedded LEDs according to stimuli sent from the body of the wearer. According once again  to  Anouk:

"...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 intelligent way, to run my designs... All data can optionally be transferred wirelessly to an external displayand at the end of the day the wearer has her own  'mood board'.

The Intel Edison Micro-controller was part of the Intel Developer Forum of 2014  in which it underwent experiments concerning several different modes of interactions. It was discovered that the wearer of the dress had the option of regulating the LEDs manually, remotely, mentally and even with her heart rate. In states of keen concentration, the wearer was able to capture data such as photos and video.


Synapse Dress-Front View: Source: 3-dPrint.comSynapse Dress-Front View: Source:


How does the Synapse Dress work?

The Synapse Dress is a sensing garment. It functions via bio-signals that offer an experimental bridge between the wearer's internal and external states. It is interactive fashion gone smart.  Blueooth allows for  awareness of the wearer's heart rate and the Edison Micro Controller collects data and develops a 'mood map' of the wearer's mind.

The future of intelligent fashion

Intelligent fashion is a burgeoning trend that cannot be ignored. Interactive garments are becoming more and more visible on runways. Attitudes towards electronic garments are destined to change our perceptions from being wearers to becoming users of our dresses. Wearable technology is destined to alter how we interface with a world around us that is filled with more and more wonder every single day.

Closing thoughts on fashion and style:

I don't design clothes. I design dreams. ~ Ralph Lauren

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