If you’ve got the money, it’s not difficult to get into the wearable tech game. Even before the Apple watch was slapped onto every banker’s wrist in the City, we’ve seen robot dresses on the catwalk through the noughties and jackets with iPods and phones implanted into the sleeves. But now the lines between what is clothing and tech are becoming increasingly blurred.
Introducing Behnaz Farahi’s “Caress of the Gaze”, a 3D wearable cape that responds to anyone who looks at it. When it reacts, there’s something feline about the way it moves, making the cape animalistic and a little creepy.
It takes this sensitivity a step further, though. A microcontroller connected to the cape’s camera is allegedly able to work out the age and gender of the gaze as well, which further changes the garment’s motion.
If, as Farahi and her team say, the cape will "respond accordingly" to a gaze, what exactly does that mean? Will it bristle more if someone of the wearer’s age and sex is having a peek at you? If a guy is blatantly staring you up and down, will the cape start flaring up wildly?
She told PSFK that her goal is to get us in touch with our surroundings. It’s easy to see where this could lead. Imagine everyone wearing one in a bar to know if someone was into you. It’d completely change the dating game. Alternatively, if you're walking home at night it could act as a detector for unwanted lurkers. Personally, I think it’d make me paranoid, but it definitely shows how interactive fashion could realistically find its way into, and engage with, the real world.