Intel is proud of its position in the tech industry but its eyes are now set on the fashion world. Earlier this year, the firm worked the catwalk with bioluminescent dresses and emoji pins. Now, the computer giant has partnered with the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund (CVFF) and challenged 10 burgeoning designers to integrate Intel Curie chips into an article of clothing in an innovative way. The wearable designs were announced last week.
“The perspective of our philosophy is that, in order to make wearables ‘wantable,’ you need to partner with the fashion industry at large,” VP of Intel’s New Technology Group, Sandra Lopez, told Digital Trends. “What Silicon Valley and Intel are good at is solving problems through technology by adding functional elements to it. Where we are challenged is the design aesthetics and different ways of incorporating the technology in ways we couldn’t possibly have imagined.”
The design ideas range from practical to theoretical, concerned with social issues, sleep cycles, stage performance, and mass production. They’re as varied as the designers who thought of them. “Although these were each designed around one product, the manifestations were radically different based on each designer and their customer base,” Lopez said.
Intel encouraged the designers to be creative and stressed that they consider three questions. It the design desirable? Would it solve or add value to something? And does it integrate the technology into their collection?
A design by Morgan Lane incorporates the chip into a silk sleeping mask designed to track brain waves, body temperature, and sleep cycles. This data would then be used as biofeedback to help wearers sleep more soundly.
Rochambeau’s idea incorporates Curie into an article of clothing that disables two wearers’ smartphones when they stand within a few feet of each other.
Adam Selman designed a rose-shaped pin that connects to wearers’ phones and blinks or vibrates alerts like a smartwatch.
Krewe Du Optic designer Stirling Barrett adopted the idea for a pair of sunglasses that record moments throughout a wearer’s day.
Chris Stamp’s Stampd wants to engage consumers with the journey of their garments. A chip sewn into the garment would serve as a tracking device, offering details about the garment’s metaphorical journey from idea to product, and its physical journey from factory to shelf.
After reviewing the designs, Intel hopes to further its relationship with some of the designers, supporting them in product development to make their ideas realities.