Technology by Faculty of Engineering academics and alumni on the catwalk

24 February 2016

New York-based fashion line Chromat previewed illuminated dresses at this year's New York Fashion Week.

Soft and stretchable sensors that respond to wraps attached on models’ hands were the technology behind the garments. The results sparked interest from the event’s media coverage and positive responses on social media.

The soft-sensor technology is developed by Intel technology and StretchSense, a spin-out from the Auckland Bioengineering Institute’s Biomimetics Lab. The company, which now serves over 140 clients in 22 countries, is led by Engineering Science and Mechatronics graduates who have honed their skills at the Biomimetics Lab, including Engineering Science Associate Professor Iain Anderson.

Chromat designer Becca McCharen approached StretchSense to create controllable luminescent products in her architecture-inspired AW15 line – the featured dresses physically respond to wearers’ hand movements to create different tones and moods. 

To date, StretchSense has successfully developed wearable applications to record real-time information for industries such as healthcare, sports and entertainment. The company released the motion-capturing “smart gloves” at CES 2016 in Las Vegas last month.