Animated Face Mask & Fashion Tech Hoodie

This week on Global News Morning I model the latest tech fashion and discuss Apple’s announcements at WWDC.

As co-founder of MakeFashion, Chelsea Klukas has spent years running tech fashion runway shows that began in Calgary before touring the world. People often asked if she could be commissioned to craft illuminated wedding or prom dresses, so after working out some ready-to-wear designs, Klukas has launched LumenCouture.com where you will find pencil skirts, tutus, and dresses along with belts, earrings, and necklaces.

Both the LED Matrix Face Mask and LED Matrix Hoodie that I’ve tested are comfortable to wear and easy to set-up. They contain pockets for the electronics so they can be removed for machine washing and use batteries that are charged through USB.

The matrix of mini LED bulbs that create the animated effect are flexible in the Face Mask so it feels completely like a cloth mask and similarly when you wear the hoodie there’s no sense that you have a rigid board clamped onto your back.

It’s true, the hoodie has no hood or drawstrings, Klukas has replaced them with an attractive collar and metallic zipper that I like. The battery pack sits in a breast pocket that’s tucked back a bit, keeping it from creating a weird bulge and making sure your silhouette is smooth. 

Animations for both are customized with an app, and get this, you don’t need an internet or a cellular connection to do so. I used an iPod Touch to wirelessly access the face mask and change out the animations from a library of fun samples. With both mask and hoodie you can type out your own text messages with custom colours and design your own graphics. The hoodie can be loaded with animated GIFs which means you can add video as I did, loading in a clip of Jenn dancing from her Instagram account.

The face mask program that responds to your voice uses the microphone of the device running the app, so in my demo that was my iPod Touch. It works well and it’s a fun effect.

The LED animated effects of both mask and hoodie are bright and lively, but thankfully not screamingly bright as you’ll often see in hobbyist projects. This is fashion that turns heads, where the patterns and designs come alive, not to simple seek attention, but to be creative and express interesting ideas.

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