Later this week, Electric Runway will help announce the winners of Fashion Fusion, an ideas competition meant to encourage innovation + collaboration in the fashion tech space with groundbreaking concepts. The initiative is funded by the Deutsche Telekom, a German Telekom company, but is powered by a network of awesomeness, including our friends at ElektroCouture and Fashion Tech Berlin. Other partners include Intel, Wired Magazine, Fab Lab Berlin, and the German Research Centre for Artifical Intelligence.
The program was announced in the summer of 2016, with a call for submissions in late May. By August 16, 2016, the jury—which includes upper-echelon representatives from the fields of fashion and technology—had announced twelve finalists. These selected artists, designers, and entrepreneurs would go on to work closely with the House of ElektroCouture to develop their concepts.
As we await the official announcement of the winners (which will take place at an Awards Ceremony this Wednesday in Berlin) we thought this would be a good time to introduce our audience to the finalists who have been working on perfecting their projects since September.
Telekom Fashion Fusion 2016 Finalists Concepts
Category: Digitally Enhanced Fashion
The Swiss startup Pyrates, founded by Regina Polanco, presents functional sportswear made of intelligent material – referred to as “smart fabrics”. The clothing has a timeless style and is made of various natural fibers. It also contains natural proteins and amino acids, vitamin E or seaweed extract, which provide added health and cosmetic value.
At “Articulated Dress” from Dagmar Kestner and Prisca Vilsbøl the focus is on intelligent, communicative designer clothing that makes use of three-dimensional pleated fabrics and sensory shape memory alloys (SMA). These turn the fabric into an interactive surface that changes its appearance, shape and structure in response to the movements and gestures of the person wearing it.
URBAN BIKE CLUB
Modern bicycle vests and locks made of reflective and neon-colored woven material, sometimes combined with integrated LED lights, have been developed by the Urban Bike Club. With their innovations, Fabian Romanowski and Heike Sigloch are creating functional fashion that provides modern bicyclists with greater safety on the road.
People who wear the MusicSuit from Greta Melnik and Lukas Hartmann can control the sound of music with just their body movements. Thanks to sensors integrated inside the articles of clothing, which can be wirelessly connected to an interactive, variable-tempo music platform, the wearer can vary sound parameters and control individual music elements.
Caroline McMillan’s connected dress proves that technology doesn’t have to look technical. Sensors embedded in the fabric, drawing on ambient data – such as weather data, for instance – ensure that the flowers attached to the garment prompt change in fabric patterns. Thus, the flowers open in the sun and close when the weather is cloudy.
ST VITO EXPERIENCE
James Hudson and Alma Edelstein-Feinsilber have created a costume for dancers and artists that is to function as a light show element and enhance the multimedia project ST VITO. With the aid of a device, the appearance of the transparent “fashion layer” of the costume can be varied through the underlying technical layer with embedded LEDs.
Category: Connected Devices & Accessories
Wotch develops smart watch straps equipped with the technology and functions to transform conventional wristwatches into smart watches. In addition to fitness functions, the eStrap makes it possible to receive messages and to control the smartphone’s music player. It links up with the smartphone via Bluetooth and can be recharged through a microUSB interface.
Using a modular software system and sensors which they designed themselves, Gernot Bahle, Bo Zhou and Lorenzo Fürg – in collaboration with the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI) – have created components that supplement sportswear with a functional aspect. This enables data exchange with various devices to provide feedback on personal training.
Yuma inventors Theresia Uhrlau and Julia Schröder design multifunctional outdoor products. In the future, nature lovers will be able to benefit from the lightweight solar products developed by Yuma: the waterproof backpack protector automatically captures sunshine for solar energy to be used while travelling.
The smart wallet from the startup acts as a convenient powerbank. If smartphone and wallet are tucked away together, the smartphone will automatically be recharged. The Bluetooth connection also protects against theft: as soon as the wallet is not directly near the smartphone, the user is notified. The idea was jointly conceived by Marko Berndt, Timo Golomski and Martin Volmerding.
For the production of her newest haute couture dress “TranSwarm Entities”, Maartje Dijkstra made use of state-of-the-art technology. The abstract fragments which are combined to make a dress, she fabricated by using a manually- operated 3D printer. Drones are another important element of the fashion performance, which the fashion designer conceived together with music producer Beorn Lebenstedt (Newk) to highlight the dress.
Category: Smart Services
The augmented reality (AR) app Mimeme from Tank Thunderbird and her team enables users to have a new fashion experience via virtual clothes. Visual markings on clothing items serve as placeholders for elements and shapes that are digitally projected onto the body, and which then become visible through various devices. Thus it is possible for the person wearing this apparel to don fashion which he or she does not own in physical form.
Best of luck to all the participants, and kudos to Berlin for making movements in this space!