Germaphobes rejoice! There is, at long last, a clothing option designed especially with you in mind. Well, at least if you’re okay with wearing a terrifying contraption.
Objectively speaking, the look of this dress alone should have people keeping their distance from you, but it also will reach out (and freak out) anyone who insists on coming closer. Dubbed the robotic spider dress, this contraption was created by Dutch Designer Anouk Wipprecht, who specializes in robotic couture.
The idea was that the dress would protect the wearer from anyone trying to make unwanted advances. It would probably also turn off anyone making wanted advances, but I digress. I should note that this is of particular interest to me for personal reasons as I am not a “hugger”. This is well-documented among my family and friends (people I weirdly don’t mind hugging), but continues to be ignored by many, many people who insist on invading my personal bubble. I would like this dress.
Robotic Spider Dress [Intel Edison based] // 2015 teaser from Anouk Wipprecht on Vimeo.
The dress was 3D-printed by RapidMade after being test printed by two other 3D printing companies: Materialise and Autodesk. It uses motion and respiration sensors to mimic the defensive habits of a spider. For example, if you approach the person slowly and calmly, the six legs might beckon you forward. But approach too rapidly and they strike out in defensive mode. Basically, if the wearer is showing physical signs of stress, the dress reacts to keep people away.
Everything is tracked via wireless biosensors, which allow the dress to become a physical interpretation of the wearer’s inner feelings. The proximity and respiration sensors work in tandem to assess situations and the device can detect an approach up to 22 feet away. Wipprecht worked with Intel (who will be showcasing the dress as a part of their CES display) on the final version of the dress, which utilizes the new microcomputer, Intel Edison. This isn’t the first Spider Dress to be created, either. Wipprecht created the original black prototype in 2013. The newer version, in addition to being pure white, is also fully 3D printed and also much more sensitive to movement.
The spider resemblence doesn’t stop with the legs on the shoulders. The entire piece is designed to look slightly spider-like from the exoskeleton feel of the design to the black balls designed to mimic a spider’s eyes.
It’s probably not the most practical way to get people to back off your personal space, but it’s definitely one of the most startling. I feel it might be useful during flu season for ensuring everyone maintains their space.
Filed Under: M2M (machine to machine)