When “Powered Clothing” Is All About Motors, Sensors and Artificial Intelligence

Yves Béhar x Superflex, a collaboration built on the belief that there is enormous potential for technology to change the lives of the golden age generation for the better.

Yves Béhar is a name that we have dropped before. We mentioned him as the talent behind the Jawbone UP2. Since then the Swiss designer, entrepreneur and founder of Fuseproject has been busy. His latest work is a collaboration with Superflex, a company that is all about defining the future of movement through Powered Clothing.

Yves Behar
Yves Behar

Coming together in an innovative way, the twosome have designed a power suit that helps elderly people stand and walk more easily. Made with origami like fabric, the Aura suit has the ability to grow or shrink to meet the needs of the wearer.  With the power centers housed in hexagonally shaped low-profile shells, the Aura suit’s main objective is to provide support specific to the wearer. It is a ‘wearable’ designed to target specific points in order to provide necessary support whilst maximizing ergonomics. What impressed us is how the lightweight suit is able to connect to the wearers main muscle points whilst effectively acting as a second supportive skin.

“The Aura power suit is jam packed with motors, sensors and artificial intelligence.”

When it comes to features, the Aura power suit is jam packed with motors, sensors and artificial intelligence. It also has small electronic ‘muscles’ that allow the suit to provide subtle, individualized support to the user. It does this by responding to and assisting with motions like standing up, sitting down, balance and general mobility. That being said, one should not assume that the Aura power suit will do the job for the wearer, this is a wearable designed to give strength and support so the wearer can do things for themselves.

On joining forces with Superflex, Yves Béhar shared,  ‘When we talk about designing for an aging population, the standard approach has been to provide aid in the home–completing tasks, welfare modules, accommodating the lack of mobility, which results in a life lived more statically. But what if technology could help us continue to move about the world and engage with it, physically, socially and emotionally?’ He continues, ‘This is the question Superflex is answering with the concept of powered clothing: to empower us by enhancing our physical ability so we can continue to live actively. I’m thrilled to join the team creating that vision.’

Promising to weigh less than three pounds, the science-fiction-like power suit will be more elegant, minimal, almost invisible and than the current prototype. With plans to make it available by mid 2018, we encourage you to visit their display at the London design museum’s NEW OLD exhibition. The exhibition will run until 19th February 2017.

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