Techno Fashion: Audio-activated DRESS from Heidi Kumao

audio_dress.jpgSound activates a series of LED lights on this dress. The louder the audio signal, the more lights light up. The LEDs are arranged in vertical columns on the front of the dress so that softer sounds light up the lower parts of the dress while louder sounds cause the entire column to be illuminated.

Heidi Kumao who is currently an Assistant Professor at the University of Michigan School of Art and Design, is the creator ‘Wired Wear’ which consists of a series of one-of-a-kind articles of clothing equipped with custom electronics.

We admire her work on Wearable Electronic projects like the Audio-activated Dress. The Audio-Dress contains 500 LEDs, a leather handbag with the control electronics, two 9-volt batteries and a microphones. A very creative idea on how to integrate the electronic via the handbag. It doesn’t ‘disturb’ the overall appearance of the dress like in other concept models that ‘stuff’ the electronic and batteries somewhere into the dress and create a bulk on one or the other place. If you can’t make the electronic and batteries small enough to let it vanish, use it as feature (sorry, the design lecturer in us is speaking).

There are a couple of videos about the Audio-activated Dress on YouTube, below is one of them:

Kumao’s projects often use technology to address feminist issues and insert a female point of view into the world of high-tech innovation.

ledbra_outside.jpgThis is especially visible on the Audio-activated Bra she created back in 2001. A fabulous pice of art that explores in a playful way the possibilities of merging technology with clothing or, in this case, lingerie.

You should not miss to follow this link to her video demonstration of the Audio-Bra.

The Audio-Bra contains 180 LEDs, the control electronics, a microphone, a plastic dial and two 9-volt batteries. As in the Audio-Dress, the Audio-Bra lights up more the louder the audio signal becomes. Arranged in concentric circles, the LEDs react incrementally with the loudest sounds causing the yellow nipple lights to light up last.


The Bra doesn’t look very comfortable on the inside but who is not willing to suffer a bit for the shake of being fashionable and trendy.


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