4 amazing innovations in fashion tech: Anke Loh, MeU, Synapse, XYZE

As the worlds of fashion and technology collide, a whole range of interesting and exciting new products spring up every day. Here are four innovations we’ve seen lately that show the best of fashion tech, and hint at where it might be going in the future.


Anke Loh’s epilepsy-inspired LED scarves


Chicago-based Anke Loh is known for her technology-infused ready-to-wear designs, including these illuminated scarves. Using innovative stretchy circuitry, the digitally-printed scarves depict microscopic photos created from conductive thread and embroidered electrodes. They were inspired by a long-term epilepsy research project, in which one patient commented that “epilepsy is like a shadow: not always visible, but always there. Something that I cannot escape.”

Anke’s LED scarves are powered by a coin cell battery and available on request.

[/nextpage] [nextpage] Synapse: the 3D-printed helmet controlled by brainwaves


Behnaz Farahi’s Synapse helmet moves and changes its shape depending on the brainwaves of the person wearing it. Designed to be a ‘second skin’, Synapse is a fascinating step further for the increasingly blurred lines between humanity and technology.

The helmet connects to the brain using electroencephalography, commonly known as EEG. The EEG chip can detect a range of different types of brain activity, including cognitive load, attention, and delta, theta and gamma waves. In response, it expands and contracts, morphing in perfect harmony with its wearer.

See Synapse in action in the video below:

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MeU Square wearable LED display


MeU’s Square wearable LED panel is so thin and flexible that it can be built into just about any type of clothing (we’re pretty excited about Twitter skirts). The MeU Square conforms to the body, so it’s not uncomfortable to wear, and includes 256 LEDs with Bluetooth for connecting to your devices.

The MeU Square has its own smartphone app, which you can use to set up icons, animations, text, or your own creations to display. As MeU comment, the open-source technology could be brilliant for cyclists, who could use it to easily signal turns and stops.

Find out more about the MeU Square here.

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‘On’ by XYZE – the smart measuring tape that helps you find your clothes size online


Italian startup XYZE (pronounced ‘size’) want to help you find the right size clothes when you’re shopping online – because we’ve all experienced buying a size 10 that’s more like a 14 and a 12 that might as well be an 8. ‘On’ is an unusual circular measuring tape that connects to a smartphone app via Bluetooth to transmit your measurements. Your profile is then stored digitally and converted into sizes from different brands, so when you’re shopping online, you know which one to choose. Their video shows how it works:

XYZE tell us that it’ll work with UK brands and manufacturers, but it’s unclear at the moment how many will be included (we can’t imagine it working for everything on ASOS, for instance!).

The XYZE On smart measuring tape is available for preorder until the 7th of March on the XYZE IndieGoGo page for 39 Euro (about £29).

Holly Brockwell

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