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Finally, a wearable that lets you know something important: when people are checking you out. No need to whip your head back and see who’s peeking when you’ve got this 3D printed cape on – its built-in tech will let you know when people are looking and keep you strutting down the street in style. Designed by architect Behnaz Farahi, a PhD candidate at The University of Southern California, this groundbreaking cape of hers is taking the wearable technology world by storm.

Titled Caress of the Gaze, this 3D printed animatronic cloak can detect when you’re being watched and will move and adjust in response to wandering eyes checking you out. We’ve all felt that sensation when we’re pretty sure someone is staring us down. With this wearable cape, your suspicions will be astutely confirmed or denied through the power of technology. “Caress of the Gaze refers to the haptic quality of our gaze. It’s taking something from invisible to visible,” Farahi tells CNN. “The idea for this project was really to create a garment that becomes an extension of our actual skin.”

3D printed cape

The whole point of wearables is to have something adorn your body that will do things for you, and this amazing cape not only has this irrefutably cool detection functionality, it looks pretty sick to boot. Aesthetically, Farahi drew inspiration from reptilian and fish scales, modeling her cape around the way these scales attach to a flexible mesh that allows for a stunning fluidity. The way the cape looks, feels and moves also resembles that of goose bumps. “It’s really exploring the logic of our skin. Our skin is constantly in motion: it expands, contracts and changes its shape based on various stimuli.”

But I know you’re itching to know – just how does this cape detect when people are looking at you? Simple camera technology. Equipped with a camera lens that’s smaller than 3 mm, the cape will detect the eye movement of watchers and transmit this information into a built-in computer algorithm that maps out precisely what it is they are looking at. Spines on the cape will tighten and sway in the exact spot people are looking at, letting you know if they’re merely admiring your awesome cape or a certain part of your physique.

Gif of 3D printed cape that detects people looking at you

“We need to think about how this sort of technology is changing our notions of our bodies and our notions of ourselves.” In fact, the cape itself is garnering so much attention for how it’s effortlessly blending fashion and tech together to give women in particular agency over their own bodies by subverting the concept of the male gaze. It’s an empowering tool for a woman to have in her wardrobe arsenal – a wearable that gives them an advantage over the oppressive male gaze and lets them decide for themselves whether they are merely being objectified or admired. This cape is an example of a wearable that’s revolutionary in realms that go beyond just technology, and that’s a cause for celebration.


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