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Fashion and technology have been joining forces for some time now. However, this marriage is no longer in its honeymoon phase. With the increasing demand of smart wearables mixed with advances in digital couture, (as well as our insatiable need for immediate access to technology) the fashion industry is paying attention and the results are bold, multi-functional and ever-changing. Here are just some of the latest high-tech pieces to emerge in this exploding market.

 PHOTOCHROMIA

 Soft circuitry, sunlight-sensitive fabrics, and leuco dye. These are just some of the different technologies behind the new clothing line called Photochromia. A New York based wearable tech research company, The Crated, combined forces with digital printing company POAM (Print All Over Me) and the result – a line of digital couture and products that use the chemical changing power of leuco dye.

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Leuco dyes change color with fluctuating (only about 5ºF) changes in temperature. Without UV light, the dye remains translucent, but when natural light hits, colors go from clear to black (transition shown in picture above). With this technology as a catalyst, interesting algorithmic patterns are revealed on an assortment of products. Madison Maxey and Mari Kussman of The Crated partnered with PAOM to create this fashion line of hats, t-shirts, a backpack, sweatshirts, and sweatpants. Go to Photochromia’s Kickstarter campaign to learn more about their vision and view the UV responsive wearables.

EAR-O-SMART

Listen-up. Ear-O-Smart is the first wearable fashion earring that can monitor your calories, heart rate, and activity level. Co-founded by Ashlyn Bird and Ravinder Saini, the new smart earring connects to your smartphone via Bluetooth and allows you to monitor a wide range of fitness information throughout your day. The question Ear-O-Smart poses to its potential customers that explains the thought process behind the product: “Would you want to wear a bulky wrist monitor to a party or on a date? We think not…” If you agree with this statement, go to the Ear-O-Smart website for more product launch information.

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HOOD HORKERZ

Discreetly getting your smoke “on” is literally a sweatshirt away. Hood Horkerz fashion line of smokable, hand printed hooded sweatshirts (starting at $124) allows wearers to smoke right out of their drawstring. A recent article states that in 2015, more than 148 million Americans now live in a state where cannabis has been legalized for medicinal use, and 17 million more live where the plant has been legalized for recreational use. With these recent legal changes, ancillary businesses have been able to move from the underground to the storefront. Enter: Hoodhorkerz.

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Sean Oliver – founder of Hood Horkerz Clothing first thought of the smoke-able hoodie in 2011. Now in California, Sean finally turned his dream into reality and created his company and popular hoodie line. He also has a patent pending for a similar sweatshirt with a vaporizer built into the drawstring for even more discreet usage. But how is this smoking possible without harming the material? There is a hand blown glass pipe built into the sweatshirt’s drawstring. The glass mouthpiece and bowl piece are joined to an inner silicone tube and all items are hidden underneath a flame resistant material. The smoke travels through the drawstring and out the other side. Maybe this isn’t truly high-tech, but it is definitely high times for the wearer and a direct response to the needs of a large portion of the country. Check out Hoodhorkerz for more information and pricing.

 

VOLVORRI Smart Shoe

With e-ink technology, not only can your watch, fitness wearable, or even handbag be smart – but also so can your shoes. The Volvorri smart shoe by iShüu Technologies features an electronic paper display panel on the high heel pump that changes from white to black and even to different patterns when controlled by a simple smartphone app. The Bluetooth and batteries are hidden in the heel. iShuu Technologies originally developed the shoe as part of a Louis Vutton Prize and the rest – is now for sale. Different styles are in the works and pre-order pricing is $149; full-price is $499.

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 TOMMY HILFIGER SOLAR POWERED JACKET

 Tommy Hilfiger partnered with Pvilion, a Brooklyn-based innovator of flexible PV solar products and created his new solar powered field jacket. Available in both men and women’s sizes and styles, the jacket generates enough power to charge a cell phone up to four times with its built-in solar panels on the back. The solar jackets have a waterproof upper and beautiful wool details. With a removable battery pack and 50% of the proceeds of the jacket being donated to the Fresh Air Fund, an organization that helps inner city children experience being in the outdoors, this jacket is truly multi-functional. The solar powered jacket is now on sale at $419.99 (originally $599).

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