This shiny little black dress is a knockout on its own. But, for those of us who love wearable technology we get a little bit of a surprise when embedded LED backlights come on in the dress. As ambient light dims and the dress lights up we find it is woven out of old film slides so there are hundreds of little snapshots to enjoy.
From where I'm sitting it takes wearable technology one-step further by adding art into the mix. At the least it's a conversation starter.
The creation is the work of Emily Steel, a student at Victoria University of Wellington's School of Design in New Zealand. As part of her Wearable Technology project she created the dress with the old film, LEDs and an Arduino Lilypad.
Certain frames of film in the dress are backed with the LED lights. The lights are controlled by a light sensor connected to the Lilypad. The sensor detects the light level, and is what tells the LEDs to slowly backlight the film frames as ambient light is dimming. The lights can even pulse, highlighting certain images at a time.
Steel's website describes her inspiration behind what she calls "the Little Slide Dress:"
The Dress draws inspiration from classic movies and the 'magic of film' to create a wearable piece of technology and art… light is so important in the creation and viewing of images [in film] and this was one of the driving forces behind the dress's creation. With film [we] only see what [is] really going on once the lights go out. For this to work there needs to be a balance of projected and ambient light, something the Little Slide Dress tries to emulate.
Finally! A new use for that old undeveloped Kodachrome!