Wednesday, February 23, 2011

what is wearable technology?

The therm "Wearable technology" embrace various other concepts like: fashionable technology, smart materials, wearable computing, e-textile and fashion.

What a piece should have to be considered something wearable and technological? What does it mean after all? Is there the use of electricity that makes a pice be placed into wearable technology field? Why this is relevant?

Suzanne Lee describe wearable computing as a genre of cloth that functions at the electronic level. Capable of processing information on the moving body (Lee, 2005). Sabine Seymour (Seymour, 2007) in 2000 coined the term ‘fashionable technologies’ that refers to the electrical engineering physical computing, and wireless communication networks that make a fashionable functional. Through technology the function of clothing is enhanced and new ones are defined.

From those definition we can conclude that it is about electronics and function. Clothes might have to be expanded and have new functionalities added in order to be considered wearable technology.

Technology in clothes has been used by several fields like medical and military. However, the function can be only aesthetic like in the very common use of light in clothes, specially in stage performance clothes.

Now I am wondering if electricity is a condition sine qua non to a piece to be considered wearable technology… I have seen many works that are very ingenious but do not use electrical components but enhance the body in a way. A nice example is the work from Trond Kasper and Bart Hess Can they be considered wearable technology?


LEE, Suzanne. “Fashioning the future. Tomorrow wardrobe”. Thames and Hudson, London. 2005.

SEYMOUR, S. “Fashionable technology: The intersection of design, fashion, science and technology”. Wien. Springer Wien /New York, 2007.

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