Friday, Jan. 8, 2016 | 2 a.m.
Technology met fashion Thursday morning when makers of tech-inspired fashion garments and accessories debuted 20 new items at the CES FashionWare show.
The futuristic-looking items are part of a $20 billion business aimed at making clothing more user-friendly, long-lasting and environmentally sustainable, said hosts at the show, held at the Venetian.
“We’re going from utilitarian to just looking like everyday clothing,” said Nick Verreos, a former Project Runway contestant who emceed the event. “It’s getting attention, and we need that innovation.”
Verreos said FashionWare clothing hasn't always been an immediate hit with mainstream audiences. He added that some of the clothing was already available across the country, while other garments will be sold commercially “within two or three years.”
With that in mind, here’s a look at five of the more technologically interesting garments seen on Thursday.
“Pretty Flowers” by Maria Orduz Pinto
Made of light-reflecting material, the $3,000 dress features 3D-printed, LED illuminated flowers on top, and fiber optics woven across the skirt.
Pinto says the dress costs more than $1,000 to make, but she hopes to reduce that cost over the next two years as technology improves. The Colombian designer said her biggest challenge was creating a light-up garment that people “actually want to wear.”
“It has to be aesthetically pleasing, it has to be pretty, it has to be functional,” Pinto said. “That’s what we’re working on right now.”
“SCOTTeVEST” by Scott Jordan
It looks like a regular jacket, but the Idaho-based SCOTTeVEST has a pocket for a range of electronic gadgets and other gear. With dozens of pockets on its outside, inside and even backside, there’s room for a laptop, firearm and iPhone among other electronics.
Unlike most other FashionWare products, the SCOTTeVEST did not make its debut on Thursday. Jordan said he designed the jacket in 2001 after he got tired of carrying around a backpack. It sells for $210.
“Basically, people want their clothing to accommodate their electronics,” Jordan said. “With this, you can carry all of your stuff without looking like you’re carrying it.”
“3D Printed Dress” by Silvia Heisel
Made of NinjaTek, a flexible 3D printing filament, the all-black dress was completely 3D printed from a home printer in New York City, Heisel said. The designer also showed off 3D printed buttons in shapes of a skull, a heart and various geometric shapes.
But while materials for 3D printing are relatively inexpensive, Heisel said the garments were still expensive because of "very slow" machine build time.
“We can’t mass produce them yet,” Heisel said. “But anyone who has a printer can print one at home.”
“Smart Sock” by Sensoria fitness
A shoe that interacts with your smartphone isn’t anything new, but a sock that monitors your running form and send signals to your smartphone was unheard of. For $199, Smart Sock users can get real-time feedback and coaching while jogging, based on their running style.
The Smart Sock doesn’t just tell you how fast and how far, but how well you run, a Sensoria representative said Thursday. The product is designed to help assess and prevent poor running styles to prevent injury.
“Origami Gown” by Phi Illuminated
A 3D-printed gown with LED lights around the skirt, the Origami Gown features a movement sensor attached to the wearer’s wrist to control its lighting level. The gown, priced at $3,000, isn’t yet available to the public, but a Phi Illuminated representative said it could be available “within a few years.”
The Origami Gown debuted in late 2015.