CuteCircuit explores app-controlled skirts with Accenture
The wearables fashion designer, which has made dresses for Katy Perry and Nicole Scherzinger, designs a proof-of-concept skirt that allows wearers to purchase digital designs to appear on the skirt
A common criticism of wearable technology is that it is just not that fashionable.
Interactive fashion designer CuteCircuit hopes to change this view by working with Accenture to design a proof-of-concept technology-enabled skirt that wearers can personalise with different, dynamic patterns they download from an app.
Accenture believes that there are also opportunities for retailers to monetise such wearables after a shopper has bought the item as well.
Techworld visited Accenture's Innovation Hub in London to experience the digital fashion proof of concept.
1. More than just a skirt
The skirt, which will be washable at 30 degrees, will be made of cotton and feature a panel on the front that houses mini LED lights. It is connected to the app via Bluetooth LE, and the skirt has a battery built in the layers of the skirt that takes around two hours to charge, with each charge lasting six to eight hours. Accenture admitted that battery life is a challenge to overcome - which is a common problem with many existing wearables.
2. Online pattern store
To download a new pattern for the skirt, customers can access an online store via a dedicated app and choose a design to buy, rent or trial for free. Retailers would be able to stipulate what options are available.
3. Designs dashboard
Customers can purchase multiple designs that will be downloaded on the app onto their own designs dashboard, and switch between them at their will.
Ben Salama, managing director of Accenture Mobility, said that retailers could collect useful analytics data from users about when and where they wear the skirt.
4. Limited edition, events-related
Designs could be linked to a particular event through the app - such as a retailer-run event or something like London Fashion Week - giving customers access to limited designs tailored to the event. The wearable item could also be iBeacon triggered, so that a new design could be downloaded onto the skirt when the wearer passes a beacon in the store.
5. A fashionable wearable
The pattern that a customer can download onto their skirts is dynamic, rather than static, gradually appearing on the skirt.
As it is still in the proof of concept stages, Accenture was unable to say how much the skirt would retail at, or how much it costs to manufacture it. Ready-to-wear tech-enabled dresses sold by CuteCircuit currently retail at upwards of £1,500.