Have you ever looked in your closet and wished you had an electronic Twitter Dress? Me neither. But it does exist—a black chiffon evening gown that lights up with animations and Tweets. CuteCircuit fashion house launched its wearable technology in 2004 and has been leading the way in combining haute couture, smart textiles and micro-electronics ever since.
An article in Metropolis says, “According to Futuresource Consulting, the wearable tech industry reached $8 billion in sales last year and is expected to more than double that figure by 2017. Since 2009, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office have seen a steady rise in design and utility patent applications.”
So maybe your first piece of wearable tech won’t be a Twitter Dress, but there are other new inventions that are just as intriguing. Many of us have seen new technology that you can wear like smart watches or Google Glass, but there are other new inventions that are just as intriguing.
Light Therapy Glasses
For people who live in colder climates, fall and winter can be particularly difficult. Not just because of snow and ice, but shorter days and less light make some people moody and tired. Seasonal affective disorder or SAD is often treated with light therapy where patients sit in front of a light box, according to the Mayo Clinic. Drexel University announced that a student has created a prototype for light therapy glasses that would shine the light directly into the eyes. Patients would be able to walk around during treatments and not be required to sit.
Smart Fabric Belly Band
Also at Drexel University, researchers are working on maternity wear. Using computerized knitting software, a belly band garment was designed using a special yarn and RFID technology that can monitor uterine contractions and fetal heart rates. The belly band “could be used to monitor high-risk pregnancies, women near their due dates or as a quick, noninvasive procedure during a routine check-up[.]”
First Sign Smart Hair Clip
Picked by Wearable Technologies as its Gadget of the Month for May 2014 is a personal security system. First Sign did research and found that impacts to the head happen more often in violent crimes. They created a smart hair clip, so that more people would be helped. “The clip contains a gyroscope and an accelerometer,that detect physical assault like slapping, punching, or aggressive movements the second it happens. Immediately, the microphone in the clip starts recording, and the First Sign mobile app uses Bluetooth to access your smartphone’s GPS, camera and microphone to begin gathering of evidence.”
Sesame Ring Smart Transit Pass
Boston commuters can now ride the MBTA, the local subway and bus system, a little easier. They can look stylish wearing a Sesame Ring and not miss their train while looking for their CharlieCard or ticket. Boston Magazine reports that MIT students came up with the idea and now the company Ring Theory has shipped out the first batch of rings to customers. The rings are made on a 3D printer and are custom made to the buyer’s specifications. Each ring has the CharlieCard’s RFID chip inside and can be used the same way.