Ready for the ultimate tech statement garment? Soon you’ll be able to purchase a dress or suit made from graphene. This is the output from a project between a shopping mall, a wearable tech company and one of the U.K.’s most prestigious universities.
The design of the prototype, which is a fashionable dress, has been worked on by wearable technology company Cute Circuit (who have worked on fashion based technology items with such luminaries as Katy Perry and Nicole Scherzinger) and The University of Manchester, which discovered graphene. Also involved is a shopping mall located in Manchester.
The dress contains a built-in graphene sensor
. The sensor, in the form of a fashionable waste band, captures the rate of the wearer’s breathing. The breathing is displayed as colourful LED lights, which are located across the bust in the form of translucent conductive graphene. The display is 3D printed and it works through the conductive properties of graphene. As the breathing rate changes, the color of the lights alter. The wearer can also control the colors and display intensity via an app.
The aim of the dress is to combine fashion with graphene-technology. The longer-term aim is to create a range of different digital display technologies embedded into clothes.
Graphene is a one atom thick form of graphite. The material has several useful properties
relating to strength, flexibility and conductivity (it conducts electricity at room temperature like a superconductor at near-absolute zero). Innovations using the material have regularly been featured on Digital Journal.
The dress was launched in January 2017 at the shopping center as part of the celebrations around Manchester’s year as the European City of Science. Here it was worm by Britain’s Next Top Model finalist Bethan Sowerby, who hails from Manchester. The dress will go on display at the Manchester Science Festival at Museum of Science and Industry later in the year.
Discussing the project on the University of Manchester website, lead researcher Dr. Paul Wiper enthused
: “This is a fantastic project, graphene is still very much at its infancy for real-world applications and showcasing its amazing properties through the forum of fashion is very exciting. The dress is truly a one of a kind and shows what creativity, imagination and a desire to innovate can create using graphene and related two-dimensional materials.”