"Yes, I love technology, but not as much as you, you see...But I still love technology...Always and forever."-Kip, Napoleon Dynamite
My hubby and brother (who like most guys, are both obsessed with gadgets and technology) had the pleasure of being two of the 150,000 folks that flocked to Las Vegas for the annual Consumer Electronics Show last week. They came back from CES with stories in three categories. 1) The expected: talk of tablets, 3D TVs, pretty ultrabooks, and lovable nerds on segways. 2) The unexpected: Justin Bieber, Justin Timberlake, Xzibit, Will Smith and Snookie sightings. (What? No one told me there would be celebrities there) and finally, 3) Things that I tuned out, i.e. "Dude, how cool was the MicroVision Pico projecting in 720p HD!?!"
While I did not have high expectations of tech talk that would be of any interest to me, surprisingly they did bring back tidbits related to fashion and shopping. What's that you say? Yes folks, high tech fashion and enough to be post-worthy. Not bad, especially since all I was expecting that was even remotely fashion related from their trip was a "My Brother and Husband went to CES, and I all I got was this low-tech t-shirt" t-shirt.
Here's a few things they saw that fashionistas can look forward to...
Swivel (3D Virtual Dressing Room)
Remember Cher's closet in Clueless? Well looks like that is not movie magic anymore. FaceCake Marketing Technologies presented a system that does what Cher's closet could and oh so much more at CES. My ears instantly perked up when I heard about this. I love online shopping like the next gal, but how many times have you wished you could just see what it looks like on? Or better yet when you are shopping at a boutique, wished you didn't have to deal with the hassle of trying things on. Here's how it works. The software utilizes Microsoft Kinect and in the comfort of your home or at the store, you can stand in front of a screen and "try on" a single article of clothing or whole outfit. Trying on a bathing suit with a couch in the background seem silly? No problem. You can change the backdrop to a beautiful beach or a red carpet if you're trying on an evening gown. The program also lets you see yourself in the item in different angles. Want to know what your BFF thinks of that dress you are on the fence on? The dressing room is integrated with social media like Facebook and Twitter. Websites and apps have tried similar concepts, but this is the first of its kind to be 3D. The boys did comment that the image could be more clear and the clothes looked a bit too superimposed but hopefully that will improve before it is available to the masses.
The Printing Dress ("You are what you tweet")
Microsoft's The Printing Dress (pictured above) explores the idea of wearing your thoughts. Think of it as literally making a fashion statement. Built mostly of black and white rice paper, the wearer can type on the bodice's keyboard. It may be hard to tell from the picture, but the keyboard's keys resemble that of a typewriter's giving the dress a vintage feel. The words are then projected on the skirt. For such a high-tech concept, my favorite part of learning about this was how aesthetically appealing the dress actually is. Hopefully if or when this does become common wear, we will only have kind words to share. Mean words on a skirt just does not seem chic.
image source: CES images courtesy of the high tech smart phones of Rishi Mehta and Sujohn Das; Swivel image: stylesectionla.com