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Styles Bytes: Tech Tattoos, Smart Umbrellas & Next-Level Sneakers

Tuesday 15 December 2015

The latest instalment of our Style Bytes series, we bring you the latest and most exciting stories emerging from the intersection between fashion and technology. This time around, rainy day essentials get smart, textured accessories are created using 3D printing and sneakers are tricked out in a range of innovative new ways. 


chaotic moon biotech transfer tattoo

Chaotic Moon’s Technical Tats 

Creative technology studio Chaotic Moon have entered a new chapter of biowearable technology, having created an innovative tattoo that combines futuristic skin art with fitness tracking capabilities. Sensors placed onto the skin are connected through electroconductive ink, tracking key body indicators like temperature or vital signs – this data is then transferred to a phone app using Bluetooth Low Energy. Tattoos are lightweight and subtle, offering a more forward method of tracking fitness than the current range of clunky bracelets and watches, and they can also be placed anywhere on the body.


MHOX’s Carapace Project

MHOX is an Italian design studio known for developing advanced wearable products. Their Carapace project explores the idea of humanity’s evolving symbiosis with technology, taking inspiration from the world of nature to create unique masks that work as extension of the body. Complex computer algorithms are an essential part of the process, which are fed into 3D-printing tools to produce bespoke sculptural pieces with a biological aesthetic, based on 3D scans of the wearer’s face. The textural micro-patterns of the masks resemble exoskeletons (also known as carapaces) belonging to arthropods like spiders or crustaceans, executed in a flexible technical material called Windform to replicate the organic shell material.



The Oombrella 

Preparing to hit the crowdfunding scene as the new must-have accessory for winter (or all year round for Londoners), Oombrella is a clever new take on wet weather protection. Promoted as the ‘smart umbrella you will never forget’, connectivity features and a linked-up app allow the design to collect weather-related data on the go, while also sending live hyperlocal weather data to share with the online community. The umbrella also alerts its user when it’s been lost or a severe weather alert is in the vicinity, meaning you’ll never get caught out in the rain again. Also – those colours! So pretty.


shiftwear customisable sneakers pattern

Next-Level Sneakers

Sportswear brands are often on the forefront of next-level design technology, and sneaker fans world over can expect to see the latest developments coming through in collections. Recently, we’ve had our eye on Shiftwear (above), an Indiegogo crowdfunding project that aims to give shoppers complete creative control over the design of a shoe – even after you’ve brought them home. Using a customisable smartphone app, users can wirelessly update their sneaker with static images or moving animations, which come to life on flexible, waterproof e-paper displays. Walk ‘n’ charge technology also keeps the shoe powered up, meaning your chosen pattern will stay visible for longer.

In other sneaker news, New Balance have teamed up with US design studio Nervous System to create 3D-printed midsoles that can be tailored to suit the wearer’s individual running pace, applying foot pressure data with strong yet lightweight foam (3D-printed styles available from April 2016, and customised versions in 2017). Adidas have also utilised 3D-printing in their new Ocean Plastic shoe, offering a eco-friendly design that upcycles waste plastic from the seas and recycled fishing nets.

new balance nervous system customisable 3d printed shoe

adidas 3d printed ocean sneaker eco friendly