Smart Fabrics Conference 2009

Piem testing the Hugshirt

Smart Fabrics Conference 2009

10, 11 and 12th of March, Simon de Bakker and Piem Wirtz visited the 5th annual Smart Fabrics Conference in Rome. Three days packed with presentations about wearable technology.

Speakers and audience consisted of a nice international mix of commercial companies, researchers, universities and individual designers/artists. We had a great opportunity to network and to absorb state-of-the-art knowledge.

We even had the pleasure of experiencing CuteCircuit's “Hugshirt“. (They just confirmed for upcoming Test_Lab, so be there!) and we met Mika Satomi from Kobakant. We are inviting her and her companion Hannah Perner-Wilson to do a workshop prior to the Test_Lab in May.

Some conclusions:

  • It appeared that V2_Lab is well aware of what’s going on in the field of wearables;
  • there are some promising developments regarding flexible solar panels and ‘plastic electronics’. The future goal is to integrate as much components as possible within a textile substrate;
  • “Green” is a hot topic. Energy harvesting from the body is challenging, but until now not very efficient;
  • V2_Lab can never compete with the high end research activities performed by large consortia (although we already did similar experiments on a DIY level in the FabLabs.);
  • Commercial companies are very interested to work with artists. They all loved the few art projects demonstrated there. Great opportunity for V2_Lab: artists can use their hightech materials and create a showcase for them;
  • DIY on a professional level, using high standards of quality is a very promising direction for the Lab;
  • Simplicity rules!



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