People are freaking out about this electronic dress. But it’s not as big of a deal as people think.
The world of programmable fabric is still a long way away, at least as far as cheap manufacturing is concerned. What we’re seeing here isn’t actually fabric, it’s merely curved screens manufactured to resemble a dress. Basically, she’s wearing a bunch of kindles strapped together. The E-ink is what has them flashing on and off like that.
We can still be excited, though
E-ink can open up a lot of doors for us, if we want programmable clothes. Now, whether or not somebody can hack these things? Unless you’re Mr. Robot, it’s going to be hard. You need an internet connection to be able to access a separate device’s files. Although with recent rulings regarding Net Neutrality, those penises at the FCC have opened the door for companies to eventually require our shirts to have a 4G connection we have to pay for.
It’ll be just like in Wall-E. Can’t you see the ads already? “Out now: Blue! Limited time only!”
It’s still cool to look at, though, and the idea of a flexible screen is fascinating to say the least.
If it weren’t for the poor model’s obvious discomfort, I’d be researching how to buy one now.
All in all, though, the future of fashion seems to be a ways off from incorporating digital elements. Probably, it’s because of a simple paradox. I imagine that digitizing fashion would delete much of what motivates clothing designers to get into the field: the material. Matter matters. That’s not to say digital art doesn’t broaden the horizons of fashion. But it will cause a shift in how we approach designing clothing.
Could we ever get to a point where a digital fabric could be cut and sewn like cotton?