La ropa del futuro

Hoy en WIRED un fabuloso articulo titulado “Con qué te vestirás dentro de 10 años” pronosticando la ropa que se fusionará con computadoras.

Un ejemplo:

Suzanne Lee, que esta en su último año de la escuela de moda St. Martin’s de Londres, y autora de Fashioning the Future, describe un vestido que se aplica con un spray hecha de una formula química que te permite crear ropa de virtualmente nada. El químico se aplica a la piel para formar una nube de tela no tejida que se puede moldear como uno desea. En el MIT Media Lab estudiantes han inventado “epi skin”, una joya hecha por células de piel…

Ver también: Wearable Futures Conference y Fashion Futurist y Fashion of the Future Slideshow

Futuratronics cross-index: Ropa del Futuro

Imagen: Una chaqueta con cámara en la capucha. La prenda monitorea el pulso y nivel de adrenalina de la persona que la usa. Cuando se elevan súbitamente –indicando la excitación del usuario—la cámara automáticamente saca una foto. De Fashion of the Future Slideshow, en Forbes.

1 comentario:

Andrés Hax dijo...

By Mmoma Ejiofor, Forbes.com 02:00 AM Mar, 24, 2006

Forget fancy camcorder phones and wireless internet routers; the future's most innovative gadgets come in a strapless size 4.

And we're not talking about just any size 4. These fetching gowns will come complete with remote controls, global positioning systems and radio frequency identification tags, making catwalk shows look more like scenes from Mission Impossible than showcases of exclusive designer wear. Why? With the rapid merging of fashion and technology, future brands of haute couture will probably owe more to Cisco Systems than Coco Chanel.

Designers have been experimenting with innovative materials for years. Once-revolutionary synthetic fabrics such as polyester, Spandex, Gore-Tex and Ultrasuede are now used in a wide range of apparel and footwear. Recently, hip, Los Angeles-based denim designer Serfontaine Jeans started using DuPont's Lycra T400, which is made from multicomponent yarns, to create stretch jeans that don't lose their elasticity, thereby virtually eliminating the need for a belt.

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Fashion of the Future
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But we're not just talking about clothes made with cool fabrics that retain their shapes or better resist stains -- what's known as "smart clothing." We're also talking about clothing with new technology incorporated into its design, aka "wearable technology." Many companies are already blending fashion and technology in a limited way: Burlington, Vermont-based snowboard maker Burton sells the Clone Mini Disc Jacket, which is a coat with a built-in Sony mini disc player and a remote control sewn into the sleeve. And to help fashion-forward customers keep even cooler during the summer, Japanese company Kuuchoufuku makes jackets with built-in fans.

But the real high-tech designs of the future have yet to reach the stores. These will consist mainly of technologically enabled fabrics and garments that are only being sketched out in ateliers and research labs around the world.

According to Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst of Port Washington, New York-based NPD Group, wearable technology still accounts for less than 1 percent of the U.S. fashion industry's retail sales. Although this sector is still in its infancy, the fashion industry as a whole is exhibiting solid growth. Last year, total U.S. apparel sales reached $181 billion, an almost 4 percent increase from 2004.

However, Cohen says wearable technology will eventually become a basic commodity, much like bluejeans. "Why buy a basic pair of khakis when future ones will be able to keep your legs warm with heating coils built into the lining? The future of technology in fiber and products is only a few years away."

As usual, expect to see wearable tech and smart clothing first adopted by fringe groups such as skiers and students before the concepts catch on with the mainstream. NPD expects that ski-wear and active-wear companies, such as Nike, Columbia Sportswear, Adidas and Timberland, will be the most likely to drive development. Last year, Adidas released Adidas 1 footwear, a running shoe with an embedded microchip that monitors the terrain underfoot and accordingly adjusts the level of shock absorption provided by the shoe's heel.

Students at the Media Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology believe young men with a keen interest in technology are more likely to embrace wearable technology trends than are women, who will prefer "computational clothing," which does not sacrifice its aesthetic value for the sake of technology.

In London, it's not just clothing that is becoming technical -- designers are innovating with the way clothes are fitted. Bodymetrics, a London-based fashion-technology firm, and Serfontaine Jeans have joined together to create the world's first pair of perfectly fitted jeans. Using a light scanner, Bodymetrics has created a pod to scan a client's body and record exact body measurements.

Once in their underwear, clients stand in a pitch-black chamber while a light flashes over their body for eight seconds. Their measurements are then recorded and a pair of "perfect fit" jeans arrive in the mail within two weeks -- for $530 a pop, or more than twice the price of a regular pair of Serfontaine jeans.

But innovative clothing need not be so expensive. Students at MIT's Media Lab are also experimenting with affordable wearable tech. Using fabrics imbued with various metals, such as organza, copper, carbon and stainless steel, they have produced conductive clothing that is still soft to the touch. Amanda Parkes, an MIT student, has been studying how "nitinol" -- an acronym for Nickel Titanium Naval Ordnance Laboratory, it's a material that contains a nearly equal mixture of nickel and titanium -- changes shape during fluctuations in temperature. With the application of a small amount of heat, a nitinol-based long-sleeve shirt can become short-sleeved in seconds, while still being able to revert back to its original shape.

Some ideas are even more radical. Suzanne Lee, a senior professor at St. Martin's School of Fashion in London and the author of Fashioning the Future, describes a " spray-on dress" made from a chemical formula that allows you to create a temporary dress from virtually nothing. The chemical is sprayed directly onto the skin to form a cloud of non-woven cloth, which can be styled as desired. At the MIT Media Lab, students have also conjured up "epi-skin," a piece of jewelry made from epithelial skin cells that are cultured in the lab and grown in a test tube.

Some of the concepts being explored, such as air-conditioned jackets and wrinkle-resistant sweaters, will probably be on the market before long. But others, such as talking T-shirts and airplane dresses, may never find a practical application, let alone see the light of day -- no matter how cool they sound.

Now if we can get a pair of sneakers that give us a good workout without us having to move, we'd be set.

See the Fashion of the Future slide show.