Designer Elizabeth Bigger's Lüme Collection sees simple black garments get a dose of 21st century tech by virtue of embedded LEDs that can be illuminated in patterns controlled from a smartphone.
While wearing electroluminescent shirts to make a statement is far from unheard of, most applications of wearable tech we've seen so far also have a practical purpose, like the soon to be ubiquitous smartwatch or clothing that monitors your heart rate.
The Lüme Collection on the other hand, is all about aesthetics. Bigger's objective was to "create a series of garments that could adapt to the users daily life, changing in color depending on the event, location, mood, or even just to match another garment or accessory."
The result is clothing with embedded RGB LEDs that can be controlled by smartphone via Bluetooth. The patterns of the LEDs can be programmed to follow a sequence chosen from a predefined assortment or controlled to respond to input from the smartphone sensors, such as the sound of music, tilting and/or rotation of the phone or external magnetic fields (magnets in your sleeves making the illumination change as you move). The LEDs can even be made to mirror your mood as posted on social media, the weather forecast, or any other data to which your smartphone has access (but they won't display your Tweets).
The Lüme Collection won the Jury Prize in the Aesthetic Category at the 17th International Symposium on Wearable Computers. So does it serve as a reminder that elegant fashions and wearable technology can be superb partners rather than a contradiction in terms? Check out the video below and let us know if you agree.