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Fashion meets technology as Intel showcases robotic Spider Dress in Dublin

TUESDAY, APRIL 14TH, DUBLIN – Today at the Science Gallery in Dublin Intel showcased a Smart Spider Dress, powered by the Intel Edison, which blends fashion with robotics and wearable technology to express the wearer’s emotions and protect their personal space.

This creepy and captivating couture is the latest exploration of experimental designer Anouk Wipprecht’s into what can happen when the worlds of robotics, wearable technology and fashion collide.

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Teodora Sutra models the Spider Dress the the Science Gallery in Dublin

The dress made its public debut at the 2015 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January and will this week form part of the Lifelogging exhibition at the Science Gallery in Dublin where Intel is hosting a 3 day residency centered around Internet of Things and Wearables with the dress as the centre piece of the exhibit.

Dutch designer Anouk is known for creations such as the brainwave-monitoring Synapse dress, Smoke Dress, Intimacy 2.0, 3D-printed outfits for Cirque du Soleil and the dress Fergie wore during the Black Eyed Peas live performance at Super Bowl 2011.

Anouk joined Intel last year to work on projects that inspire innovation in wearable technologies beyond wrist and eyewear. She calls her one-of-a-kind Spider Dress “badass” for how it pushes and bends the boundaries of social norms.

“Fashion and tech are merging at the moment, beyond blinking dresses or cute skirts. I’m showing how fashion can be thought provoking, something that pushes people to think and share their feelings.”

Her latest creation is a 3D-printed experimental dress crowned at the collar with robotic spider legs.
It’s a violent thing of beauty, at once mesmerizing, provocative and intimidating. The legs constantly move, reacting to real-time biometrics based on pre-programmed social norms and violations. “Spider Dress acts as the interface between the body and the external world,” said Wipprecht. “It uses technology and the garment as a medium of interaction.”

The so-called animatronic arachnid limbs on the Spider Dress know exactly when someone is invading the wearer’s personal space. The legs are driven by computer and sensor technologies that allow it to be autonomous, but assistive and adaptive to the owner’s emotions and desires.

“Since the system based with mechanic spider legs is literally hosted on the shoulders of the
wearer and attacks using the same viewing angle as the wearer, the system knows how you feel and adapts to those feelings,” she said.

Using wireless biometric signals, the system makes inferences based on the stress levels in your body. It can differentiate between 12 states of behavior. Wipprecht calls it an interesting interplay between co-control and education of your own body and mind.

“When approached at an aggressive pace, the system answers in a territorial attack mode,” she said. “But when you walk up to the dress in a more cautious, friendly symbiotic way, you can almost get the dress to invite you closer, as if to ‘dance’ with you.”
She calls it her most complicated dress so far because of the depths she explored around human-system interactions.

The embedded Intel Edison module brings computing intelligence to the dress. Wipprecht said that she was originally measuring behaviors using external sensors, but embedding Edison in the dress has allowed her to store and measure data from anybody wearing the dress.
“Intel’s Edison technology allowed me to upgrade my original prototype design to a mature version, one that is fully 3D printed, mechatronic and extra sensory,” she said.

Today microprocessors, microcontrollers and other modules that bring computing, communications and Internet access to things are shrinking in size and can run on little power. Wipprecht said these kinds of technology allow her to rethink where, and in what situations, computing is possible and desirable.

Wipprecht was speaking at the launch of Intel’s Lifelogging residency which also featured presentations from Linda Doyle, Lifelogging curator, Director of CONNECT/CTVR and Professor of Engineering & the Arts Trinity College Dublin and Philip Moynagh, Vice President of the Internet of Things Group at Intel. Linda spoke to the audience about how key areas of technology were coming together and being combined through designs like the Spider dress; “the concept of logging our own activities and data, the Internet of Things and Wearables are all combining together and in this case have resulted in something which is beautiful, intriguing and creative. We can no longer look at technology in isolation but rather as part of a world that is truly multidisciplinary – designs like this are just the tip of the iceberg”.

Philip Moynagh then went on to talk about how we find ourselves at an important juncture for how future technology will integrate with our lives; “We are at an extraordinary transition point that we need to wake up to as they don’t happen at high frequency. Internet revolutions can happen anywhere, including Ireland, if we open our minds to the possibilities and those possibilities are endless when we consider the vast number of inanimate objects that we use today that are functional but not smart. That is the opportunity of the Internet of Things”.

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The captivating couture is the work of experimental designer Anouk Wipprecht’s and combines robotics, wearable technology and fashion 

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The unique creation will be showcased as part of a three day residency held by Intel at the Lifelogging exhibition in the Science Gallery
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Designer Anouk Wipprecht and Intel’s Philip Moynagh are pictured with Teodora Sutra who is modelling the Spider Dress

Further images can be found here: Spider Dress Exhibition at the Science Gallery – an album on Flickr

Further Information

Details of the Design

• The dress shoulder plates have nine degrees of freedom.

• It’s equipped with 20 servos for movement.

• The design uses proximity sensors that measure up to 23 feet around the body.

• There’s a built-in respiration sensor that connects to the skin, which sets the programmed behavior to a ‘friendly fire’ mode.

• The dress was digitally designed and 3D printed using a Selective Laser Sintering method.

• It was created out of pearly white nylon and took more than 60 hours to print the complex geometries.

• There are 40 parts that screw or press fit together.

About the Lifelogging exhibit

Lifelogging incorporate a lab in the Science gallery exploring new ways to track everything from heartbeats to heartbreak. This free exhibition features exhibits and labs looking at data, people and the impulses connecting them. Drop by to view the installations and talk to the residents or book your place to take part in the weekly workshops.

From critical to creative, LIFELOGGING asks ‘where do we go from here’ and question whether we can record and analyse happiness, beauty and aesthetics the same way we record footsteps and heartbeats. This exhibition will explore novel methods for capturing data, for visualising, and for analysing the insights that new data affords us about ourselves and society – Lifelogging | Science Gallery

About Intel

Intel is a world leader in computing innovation. The company designs and builds the essential technologies that serve as the foundation for the world’s computing devices.

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Media contact: Sarah Sexton  | + 353 1 606 8537


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