Techy fashions: Gizmos and gadgets de rigueur

By Divya Kumar, COMMENTARY
On January 28, 2014

 

Daft Punk’s robot helmets may be garnering all the buzz after its multiple, metallic Grammy appearances, but the ’90s synthpop duo is far from the only ones tapping into the growing technology-inspired fashion market.

The Oracle takes a look at some of the most innovative, unnecessary and impractical gizmo glamour.

SmartWig

This product, which Sony received a patent for late last year, seems like it comes straight from a sci-fi flick.

It may not have that certain je ne sais quoi appeal of the attachable beehive of the ‘70s, but the sensors connected to this modern hairpiece will provide vibrations and tactile feedback to the user’s head that can be used to provide them with all sorts of information. With the SmartWig users will be able to take a phone call, send/receive a text, get directions or inform them of objects in close range to them.

The patent, granted to a Japanese inventor for Sony, outlines several ways that the wigs could be integrated into daily life — including tapping your sideburns to flip through Powerpoint slides or embedding a video camera in the wig to capture footage — and did not ignore the need to remain up with the trends du jour.

“The term ‘wig’ shall not be limited to any specific type, shape, color or any other special characteristic of such a wig,” the patent reads. “A wig shall herein be understood as a head of hair or parts of it, independent from the type of hair. The hair itself could, for example but not limited to that, be made from horse hair, human hair, wool, feathers, yak hair, buffalo hair or any kind of synthetic material.”

 

Mood Sweater

For those who don’t already wear their hearts on their sleeves or perhaps were deprived of the formative life phase of buying mood rings from dirty gumball machines outside grocery stores, the mood sweater is likely a very useful product.

For everyone else, it seems silly.

Designed by Sensoree, which is currently taking pre-orders for a limited release batch, the mood sweater’s collar changes colors — first inside so the wearer has a head’s up as to what they’re feeling and then outside — based on what its sensors touching the wearer’s arms say to promote what the company calls “extimacy,” or externalized intimacy.

From an aqua color, meaning you’re “tranquil or zen” to a bright red, meaning you’re “nervous or in love,” this sweater’s endless hues are a great way to diversify your closet and help get over painful inhibitions in this brave new world of communication.

Everpurse

Perhaps the most useful of products in this line of high-tech haute couture is the Everpurse. This product allows women to charge their smartphones while they are being carried in crossbody and wristlet clutch purses, which come in colors ranging from aquamarine to eggplant and come in leather and fabric.

The 2013 lineup sold out, but next year’s lineup will soon be announced, the website states. Additionally, options for men’s wallets are being explored as well.

Pre-orders are being taken at everpurse.com, but the convenience of carrying around your own mobile device charger comes with a hefty sticker price: the 8.5-by-7-inch purse ranges from $189 to $329, based on design.

 

Egokast LCD screen belt buckle

For anyone who’s ever wanted to watch a movie off their own crotch or have others watch a movie while staring at their belt line, the LCD screen belt buckle is a must-have.

For all two of those people, who hopefully are warded off at a safe distance from the rest of society, this product may be a little difficult to find as the Egokast website, which charged $289 for the product, is no longer available.

The screen read SD cards and multiple file types and played on 320-by-240-pixel display.

 

USB Warming Gloves

Because sometimes regular mittens just aren’t warm enough.

With the polar vortex and nor’easters of the wintery weather affecting much of the country, these wool gloves with tips cut off allow users to connect them to laptops, desktops and PlayStations via USB and warm the temperature of their extremities up to 127 degrees Fahrenheit.

In brown, pink and brown, these gloves are fairly gender-neutral and cost around $20 at USBGeek.com.

 

Smartbra

One for the “Oh dear” category: A Japanese lingerie company has developed a “smartbra” — one that unhooks only for “true love.”

With a sensor positioned inside, the bra measures heart rates and patterns. Its clasp automatically unhooks when it senses a pattern that mimics a somewhat questionably scientific rate of being in love.

According to the commercial, it is designed to prevent women from baring their chests to men for reasons other than love.

Ignoring the fact that it is possible a woman would want to take off a bra for a reason other than being in love, from a purely logistical standpoint, this raises some questions as to how a woman is to unhook this on her own or what happens if the undergarment’s great intellect senses love in a situation where it would be a bit inconvenient or inappropriate for, well, all to be bared.

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