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How do you feel? Ask your clothes


AI is supposed to free people’s minds to think new thoughts, perhaps of self-improvement, but what if biometric clothing also freed us from thinking about ourselves? What would be left for us to ponder?

There is always reality TV. In the meantime, a Polish fashion and product designer has published her thought experiment involving tops for women designed to inform them about their emotions.

Before getting into specifics of how the plastic light-up clothing works, its fashion design requires mentioning.

One top has integrated triangular lighting that gives the wearer — in this case an appropriately zombified model — a wasp-waist.

The second top, which incorporates a stiff, Visqueen-like bubble/wrap, sports color-changing LEDs arrayed in two opposing arcs highlighting (or simulating) the upper physique of a maiden on the cover of a bodice-ripper.

Not classical feminist clothing design, but, of course, Iga Węglińska is really offering a provocation about how biometric clothing could integrate with people’s inner lives.

Design publisher Dezeen reported on the designer’s doctoral dissertation at Krakow’s Academy of Fine Arts.

Video of the outfits in operation is here.

Sensors in the clothing monitor heart rate, body temperature and galvanic skin response. Signals are sent to materials and lights that alert wearers to emotional states that can make themselves known through heart and breath rates, for example.

The first top, with light-up wedges at the waist, changes from translucent to opaque in Rorschach-like patterns. The wedges vibe with the heart rate, which is collected by two finger cuffs.

Offering number two involves a run of LEDs slowly tracing from one wrist, up and around the back of the neck and down to the other wrist. The décolletage feature changes colors and intensity.

Clothing is a popular media for biometric sensors. Examples reportedly can correct posture, assess physical rehab, blind facial recognition systems and hold downward dog correctly.

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