New York hosts one of the biggest fashion events of the year, the Met Gala, in May. Each year the event sees the most phenomenal pieces that fashion has to offer. This year's theme "Manus X Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology" is aimed at incorporating tech into fashion. Not to be left out, IBM has partnered with fashion house Marchesa to introduce a one of a kind smart dress at the event.
IBM Watson's team collaborated with Marchesa co-founders Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig, to create a data-driven, LED lights embedded smart dress, which was worn by model Karolina Kurkova. The dress is specifically designed to change colours, in real time, according to the mood of social media, specifically those commenting on the dress via Twitter.
The dress has been designed to isolate and respond to five major emotions – excitement, joy, passion, curiosity and encouragement. On detecting these emotions, the dress will glow brighter and change colours accordingly. For example, red would signify confidence, while grey would connote futurism.
The dress uses the same technology that IBM Watson has been using since its conception in 2011. The dress makes use of APIs (application program interfaces). IBM developers, with the assistance of Marchesa designers, provided the intelligent system with a list of past Marchesa dresses to make corresponding comparisons and develop a colour scheme that corresponds to specific emotions.
IBM's developer partner Inno360 specially garnered fabric for the cognitive dress that would integrate Watson's technology while also simultaneously maintaining Marchesa's trademark aesthetics. The dress successfully represented the theme of the Met Gala, blending fashion and technology into one phenomenal product.
"Watson gives you information, but Watson itself isn't designing the dress. And that's what I liked," says Chapman. "It's a way of using [technology] to enhance what we do. It's being able to dream something. It brings a childlike quality back to it," the NY Magazine reported.