Philips Design announced today that it has developed a seriesof dynamic garments as part of the ongoing SKIN exploration research into the area known as ’emotional sensing’. The garments, which are intended for demonstration purposes only, demonstrate how electronics can be incorporated into fabrics and garments in order to express the emotions and personality of the wearer.
The marvelously intricate wearable prototypes include ‘Bubelle’, a dress surrounded by a delicate ‘bubble’ illuminated by patterns that changed dependent on skin contact- and ‘Frison’, a body suit that reacts to being blown on by igniting a private constellation of tiny LEDs.

OMG! So in 2020 my chick will know when I’m romantic. So, no more flowers or other craps to show her my love …


‘Sensitive’ rather than ‘intelligent’
These garments were developed as part of the SKIN research project, which challenges the notion that our lives are automatically better because they are more digital. It looks at more ‘analog’ phenomena like emotional sensing and explores technologies that are ‘sensitive’ rather than ‘intelligent’. SKIN belongs to the ongoing, far-future research program carried out at Philips Design. The aim of this program is to identify emerging trends and likely societal shifts and then carry out ‘probes’ that explore whether there is potential for Philips in some of the more promising areas.


Rethinking our interaction with products and content
According to Clive van Heerden, Senior Director of design-led innovation at Philips Design, the SKIN probe has a much wider context than just garments. “As our media becomes progressively more virtual, it is quite possible in long term future that we will no longer have objects like DVD players, or music contained on disks, or books that are actually printed. An opportunity is therefore emerging for us to completely rethink our interaction with products and content.”

“We chose fashion as an idiom to express the kind of research we were doing,” says Lucy McRae, Body Architect at Philips Design. “We did this because apparel and textiles can be augmented by a lot of new functionality. A garment can be a highly complex interactive electronic or biochemical device. We are experimenting with devices that are more responsive to subtle triggers like sensuality, affection and sensation.”

The blushing dress
The garments were therefore designed to respond to an individual’s body and create a visual representation of emotions rather than just being ‘on’ or ‘off’. For instance the ‘Bubelle’ – the ‘blushing dress’ – behaves differently depending on who is wearing it, and therefore exhibits completely nonlinear behavior.

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