Among all the latest trends shown off at New York fashion week was an eye-opening collection of shape-shifting smart clothing from designer Chromat. The sportswear label gave a glimpse into the future of fashion as it exhibited a sports bra and dress with a built-in Intel computer chip that alters its shape and function to respond to the wearer.
The Aeros sports bra will responsively morph shape to give the wearer the perfect fit. It also has temperature sensors and will automatically open vents in the garment to help counteract rises in body temperature and perspiration. Think Back to the Future II auto jacket, only a bit more racy.
"The Chromat Aeros Sports Bra leverages shape memory alloy to open vents when it senses heat and sweat in order to cool down the body," Ayse Ildeniz, Vice President of Intel's new devices, wrote in a blog post. She added that "the sports bra can respond to changes in perspiration, respiration and body temperature in order to cool (or warm) the wearer."
The Aeros is only a prototype at this stage but Chromat believes "clothing should be able to sense the wearer's data sets - the heart rate, temperature, breathing patterns, stress - and the wearer's environment - temperature, air levels, GPS, social setting - and be able to adapt and respond accordingly."
Chromat also flaunted a shape-shifting dress, called the Adrenaline, which is made from 3D-printed panels and has a carbon fibre framework on the back that will fan out into an hourglass shape when it senses an increase in adrenaline in the wearer. This "biomimicry" is supposed to represent the fight-or-flight displaying we see from birds when they puff plumage when threatened or excited.
The Intel Curie module embedded in the clothing is intended for use in wearable technology that packs a low-power processor, motion sensor, accelerometer and Bluetooth. The chip can also be used in handbags, rings and other fitness trackers.
At the moment both these items are limited to the runway as the FCC is yet to authorise the use of the Intel Curie modules in clothing.