The whispers from the city of light are that Paris Fashion Week‘s tech pride and joy was the collaboration between Hussein Chalayan x Intel. The duo unleashed never-seen-before Intel powered wearables during Chalayan Spring/Summer 2017 runway show. Designed to interpret stress with creative visualizations, the wearables are a great example of technology and luxury fashion converging.
This is not the first time that Intel has worked so closely with the creme de la creme of the fashion industry. They have made a name for themselves working with the likes of Chromat and Anouk Wipprecht, making them the go to brand for creative designers seeking to infuse or compliment their collection with technology.
This season, Hussein Chalayan x Intel collaboration introduced the fashion industry to the latest connected accessories. The innovative concept behind the glasses and the belts is that they aid in the awareness and proactive management of stress. Designed to be stylish and stress-sensing, the connected glasses are powered by the Intel® Curie™ module. The tiny, low power hardware product that provides designers and makers the ability to add functions to a wide range of devices. Intel Curie also features an on board Bluetooth LE connection that communicates the wearer’s biometric data to another device like a smartphone. On the runway the ‘other’ device was demonstrated with a belt.
The Design Behind the Science
Intel’s connected glasses worked by gathering biometric data from the wearer using sensors by monitoring the brainwave, heart rate and breathing data in real time. The glasses are equipped with capacitive electroencephalogram (EEG) electrodes to measure asymmetrical brainwave activity, an optical heart rate sensor to measure heart rate variability and a microphone to measure breathing rate. As for the connected belts, they were powered by the Intel® Compute Stick, a tiny computing device the size of a pack of gum. The Compute Stick allowed the belts to capture the biometric data from the glasses and translate the information into visualizations that interpret the wearer’s stress level.
Also housed within the belts was a small Pico projector that displayed the visualizations onto a wall in real time, as the models move down the runway. The projected imagery served as a powerful visual cue to the wearer who, by initiating stress-reduction techniques, sees the imagery change in correspondence to her body’s response.
As fashion week comes to a close, we find ourselves appreciating Intel and Chalayan exploration of emotion and self-expression through connected accessories. For us, this was a collaboration that purposefully illustrated the potential of future integrations between fashion and technology and also the importance of bringing innovative concepts and aspirations to life.