On jackets containing the Philips Lumalive fabrics dynamic advertisements, graphics and constantly changing color surfaces can be displayed. (Photo: Philips)

Recently, I read an article, “Philips Research Shows Off Technology That Displays Electronic Images On Clothes which is about this new technology, “Lumalive fabrics.”

The description of Lumalive fabrics from the article are like below.
“Lumalive fabrics feature flexible arrays of colored light-emitting diodes (LEDs) fully integrated into the fabric – without compromising the softness or flexibility of the cloth. These light emitting textiles make it possible to create materials that can carry dynamic messages, graphics or multicolored surfaces.”

I’m very curious how it actually works. In 2003, I have designed a future technology jacket with James Tu, which was a costume for a performance titled, “AfroFuturistic” at Kitchen, NYC. We wanted to convey that in future, people will wear clothings such as a jacket that will display ad graphics or data information. The jacket was designed with multiple LEDs and Electro-iluminating panels that are cut into shaps of a monitor and sewed and soldered in the back of the jacket.

That project became an introduction to wearable fashion technology, from then, I’ve been busy designing & developing wearable technology, “HearWear: The Fashion of Environmental Noise Display” with Milena Berry. In 2004, for the siggraph exhibition, we have visited Zuzka in NYC who is a US distributor for Luminex. This revolutionary textile was using a fabric that is woven with fine fiber optics that can emit lights from LEDs embeded inside. Milena and I began to play with Luminex textile and designed two working prototypes of HearWear skirt using Luminex.(photo below)

I actually loved the subtlety of Luminex lights which only shows in darkness – since very often when you design a garment with lights, it could be very tacky looking. I wanted to design an everyday wearable that you and I would easily pickup and wear. Anyway, I’m continuing this attempt on different new designs with different technologies now.
HearWear skirt with Luminex textile (photo: youngster)