In the era of self-driving cars, personal assistants on our smartphones and ECG tracking smartwatches, it should come as no surprise that technology has slowly crept into streetwear. These brands have taken tech and incorporated them intotheir merch, creating an entirely new way to interact or use your streetwear cops. Here are, in our opinion, the most interesting uses of tech.
Nike Hyper Adapt Huarache
This recently announced sneaker from Nike not only boasts self-lacing technology, but it can also be controlled with Siri. That’s right, the iOS personal assistant can help you tighten your laces.
The Nike Hyper Adapt technology is a self-lacing system inspired by Marty McFly’s Nike Mag in Back to The Future. What was initially a pet project to recreate the iconic sneaker from the film is now a commercial piece of tech that is used in Nike Basketball sneakers. The system tightens the shoes’ laces to your preference, which you can set in the Nike mobile app.
Now Nike has revealed that the system is Siri compatible. By programming a simple command, Siri can trigger the Nike Hyper Adapt Huarache to tighten or loosen, making it easier for you to take the sneaker on or off. This piece of tech has another benefit besides just looking cool – it makes it easier for people with disabilities to wear their sneakers.
You can read out full coverage of the Nike Hyper Adapt Huarache here.
Masayuki Ino has had quite a year. The Japanese designer’s latest collection for Doublet, ‘surprise¡’, was inspired by his joyful and surprising 2019. But this ‘surprise¡’ has a rather macabre twist – it is filled with elements of horror.
Take the polaroid t-shirt – one of the most interesting pieces within the collection. The t-shirt looks innocuous enough – a giant polaroid printed on a simple white tee. But take a flash photograph of it, and a ghost shows up in the resulting image.
In order to make this innovative surprise possible, Masayuki worked with a special film manufacturing company to create film that would respond to flash in that way, yet resist damage when thrown in the wash. In a meet-and-greet session at Dover Street Market Singapore, Masayuki stated that this was the first time such film has been used for a fashion line.
There is a general distrust within the sneaker community, especially when buying a sneaker on the resale market. There are so many fake Yeezys, Off-Whites and Jordans out there that we turn to apps like StockX to be assured of an authentic purchase. Sabotage saw that problem and came up with a unique way to solve the issue: blockchain.
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You read that right: blockchain. Blockchain, in a nutshell, is an unerasable digital trail that can be used as records for a transaction. In this case, Sabotage partnered with VeChain to produce an NFC smart chip that can be inserted to the sneakers that come out of Mr Sabotage’s workshop. Resellers and buyers can use an app to scan the chip and download the entire history of the shoe, essentially authenticating the sneaker. This provides Sabotage fans reassurance that any sneaker bought resale will have a chip to prove its authenticity, since the data is tamper-proof.
You can read our coverage on the different methods used to prevent counterfeits here.
Bonus: Kitty Yeung’s Flowers
Imagine an adaptive dress that can produce a unique pattern that’s exclusive to you. That is exactly what Kitty Yeung’s ‘Flowers’ has achieved. Created at the Microsoft Hacksters.io, ‘Flowers’ is a floral dress that is embedded with tiny lights. The lights are hooked up to a heart-rate monitor also incorporated into the dress. Based on your pulse, the system will create a unique light pattern that’s displayed on the dress.
This dress allows you to interact with it at a very biological level. It opens the door for future clothing lines that can adapt to the needs of its users, showcasing a part of them that we cannot discern otherwise. Imagine a t-shirt that changes colors based on your mood – it would take self-expression to the next level. Kitty Yeung’s ‘Flowers’ marries technology with clothes to make interactive fashion that can evolve with its user.
Which of these techy fashion items would you want to try? Share your favorites in the comments section.