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Purpose/Impact

Teams of FIT students were tasked with incorporating wearables into the designs of these two innovative Swedish brands. The FIT/POC team embedded wearable sensors into commuter wear for bikers—cycling pants, helmets, and bags—to increase biker safety. The sensors work in conjunction with turn indicators on the backpacks, providing highly visible signals to drivers and other cyclists. By improving biker safety through innovative apparel, POC hopes to increase the number of individuals that cycle for their daily commute, which would not only improve the lives of cyclists, but ultimately reduce the environmental impact of commuters who would otherwise drive. Over 50 retailers worldwide, from department stores to independent, industry-leading boutiques such as Opening Ceremony, carry Ann-Sofie BACK garments. Neue designed a micro-controller called A2, which connects to sensors and controllers to measure footfalls, humidity, and temperature (among other things). This data works in conjunction with end user applications (like mobile devices) to perform a number of functions, such as making clothes vibrate or light up. The A2 can also control music through apps like Spotify. The designer is exploring the use of sensors and the A2’s ability to collect data and track how long a garment is worn to support a potential rental business model as well.

Outcomes/Accomplishments

Two product designs came out of this project: the POC backpack and wearable concepts for the Ann-Sofie BACK brand. Both of these products demonstrate how wearable technology can be functional while also increasing retail value. Using lights and sensors, the POC backpack reduces cycling accidents, and the garments designed for Ann-Sofie BACK have multifaceted applications with electroluminescent materials and embedded sensors. The teams explored how embedded sensor technology could be used to track wear, unlock loyalty rewards, and elevate the consumer experience.

Status Update

The team presented to an audience of fashion influencers and wearable experts at the Swedish Consulate in New York. The POC design will be shown during the upcoming Harper’s Bazaar conference. The company is in discussions to bring both products to market.

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