Thursday, November 12, 2009

Designer Duo Create a Dress With 24,000 LEDs

From Wired Website by Priya Ganapati:

Photo: J.B. Spector/the Museum of Science and Industry
Next time you compliment a woman at a party that’s she glowing, it may literally be so. Two London-based designers have created a dress embroidered with 24,000 full color LEDs .
Called the ‘Galaxy Dress’ it claims to be the largest wearable display in the world and will be the center piece of an exhibit at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago.

“We used the smallest full-color LEDs, flat like paper, and measuring only 2 by 2 mm,” say designers Francesca Rosella and Ryan Genz in an email. “The circuits are extra-thin, flexible, and hand embroidered on a layer of silk in a way that gives it stretch so the LED fabric can move like normal fabric with lightness and fluidity.” The duo run an interactive clothing company called CuteCircuit.

To diffuse the LED light, the dress has four layers of silk chiffon and a pleated silk organza crinoline skirt. The extra-thin electronics allows the dress to follow the body shape closely like with normal fabric.

Instead of having one large and heavy battery, the dress is designed to run on many tiny iPod batteries hiding in the crinoline, says Rosella. “They are not visible or uncomfortable,” she says.
With the batteries, the Galaxy Dress wearer can walk around–all lit up–for anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour.

The areas without LEDs are decorated with more than 4000 hand-applied Swarovski crystals that range from clear crystal to bright pink. “The dress looks good even when it is switched off,” say the designers.

See a video of the LED Dress that, according to the designers, consumes about the same electricity as two household bulbs. (Warning...the video is mesmerizing!)

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