Wearable computing, for those who may not know what it is, comes in many different forms, such as a shirt outfitted with energy-harvesting devices to power mobile electronics or headgear like Google Glass. Even Android-based watches are a part of this growing trend.
We tend to think of wearable computing as providing a function rather than being purely aesthetic, pleasing to the eye, or the latest in fashion. That notion is being laid to rest by a fashion designer working with Jorge & Esther located in Barcelona, Spain. Elizabeth Fraguada's Lume line of clothing provides no other function except to accentuate the person wearing the clothing, presenting them in a new light (literally).
Elizabeth Fraguada’s LED-inspired dress is just one garment in a line of light-infused clothing.
The line consists of a stylish open-backed dress, bomber jacket, and tunic, which recently won the Jury Prize in the "Aesthetic Category" at this year’s International Symposium on Wearable Computing held in Zurich.
What sets these pieces of clothing apart from the others is that thin, flexible LEDs have been incorporated into the garments that conform to the wearer’s body shape on a natural level rather than appearing bulky. The cool thing about the garments is that the LEDs are able to change color as well as react to music in clubs and other venues, which is done though a smartphone application.
The LEDs never directly touch the wearer's skin as they are enmeshed in the clothing’s fabric, which sits under several layers in order to diffuse the light for a softer glow rather than blinding light. An app also allows users to take a picture of their surroundings or accessories being worn with the outfit, and the LEDs adjust themselves to provide the best possible color match.
Even with the electronics built into the garments, they can still be cleaned the same way as normal clothing simply by removing the flat LED inserts. With a little tweaking, the clothing can even be adjusted to match the weather or even represent the mood of the user’s Twitter feed. (Scrolling stock market quotes perhaps?)