The Next Black documentary examines intersection of technology and fashion

The Next Black
By Simon Sage on 22 May 2014 03:30 pm
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If you've got 45 minutes to kill, a great documentary landed on YouTube recently called The Next Black, which takes a good close look at the future of connected clothing. Whether or not you're into haute couture, this is a really interesting look at how old ways of thinking are clashing with newer ones, and helps us peer ahead to see how electronics will get closer than ever to our bodies. The documentary examines other aspects of fashion affected by technology, including new biologically-generated fabrics, health monitoring, and issues of sustainability.

In any case, the full documentary is embedded below; click the skip arrow in the bottom-left of the video to catch the trailer and separate interviews. Be sure to check out the rest of the videos in the playlist for individual interviews. You can also go to the AEG homepage to find out more about the various projects being talked about here.

What do you guys think of the ideas being brought up here? Is a "fully digital skin" something we're likely to see in the next 20 years? How connected do you want your clothing?

2 comments

Teso Dos Bichos

I'll give this a watch this evening and report back.

Teso Dos Bichos

That was an interesting watch. I'll ignore the second half messages regarding sustainability and the need to shift our mindset from clothes as disposable items and focus on the technology, connected possibilities and what I want. I am used to wearing base layers on a daily basis (often as an only layer) because I value the tight fit and the properties it brings whether that be cooling, heating, wicking or compression (etc). I also use fitness trackers and a variety of devices to measure heart rate (etc). In the future I would like a custom fitted base layer that incorporates a variety of sensors to track my bio-mechanics. I want it to update my device (or provide integrated feedback) with this data. It should be modular so I can add additional functionality (or combine it with different layers) as required. It should also be powered by my body whether through kinetic, thermoelectric or other source. Replicating the advantages evolution has provided the natural world links back to the modular aspect. If I want to go open water swimming adding a layer that provides the additional thermal and water proofing properties required would be good. Likewise for other environments. All of this is in the works in various stages. All I need is for the different pieces to advance to the required level and then someone to tie it all together.