"The Printing Dress": An ISWC Award-winning Wearable Technology Dress by Microsoft Designers

Sheridan Martin Small, one of the dress's creatorsMicrosoft designers create "The Printing Dress," an award-winning wearable technology creation that's turning heads in design circles. "The Printing Dress, a project created by Microsoft Research's Asta Roseway and Xbox's Sheridan Martin Small, is one of the first pieces of fashion technology to emerge from the company. The […]


Sheridan Martin Small, one of the dress's creators
Microsoft designers create "The Printing Dress," an award-winning wearable technology creation that's turning heads in design circles. "The Printing Dress, a project created by Microsoft Research's Asta Roseway and Xbox's Sheridan Martin Small, is one of the first pieces of fashion technology to emerge from the company. The women and their dress won Best Concept and Best in Show at the 15th annual International Symposium on Wearable Computers (ISWC) in San Francisco this June," wrote Microsoft.

"The dress is high-fashion, high-concept, and totally high-tech. It's made almost entirely of black and white rice paper. Sewn into the bodice are laser-cut buttons, reminiscent of old-fashioned typewriter keys. Though the style of the dress is old-meets-new, the rest of it is anything but old-fashioned - it comes equipped with a laptop, a projector, and four circuit boards. Everything is functional, from buttons to hem.

Though it's a prototype not meant to be worn, the dress's wearer could theoretically type messages on the bodice keyboard, and those messages would be projected onto the skirt for the world to see.

The Printing Dress is meant to explore not only fashion and wearable technology, but the notion of accountability for what we say in a world where communication is rapid, constant and increasingly done remotely," Roseway explains.


Wearable technology studio Electricfoxy interviews Asta Roseway on the fashion and function of
"The Printing Dress," a project she and Microsoft employee Sheridan Martin Small created to explore
wearable technology.

In January, they heard about the International Symposium on Wearable Computers and decided to commit to entering a project - but what? They discussed bracelets, gloves, jackets, and more, but settled on a dress. Martin Small had recently created a (non-digital) paper dress dyed with tea in an art class.

After several revisions, in June Roseway took the finished dress to the symposium in San Francisco (Martin Small couldn't attend as she was busy at the Electronic Entertainment Expo). Roseway says she got some surprised looks that Microsoft had a wearable technology entry. Then, she herself was surprised when their dress won not only Best Concept, but Best in Show.

Here're a few pictures:


Asta Roseway demonstrates the fashion and function of "The Printing Dress," a project she and
employee Sheridan Martin Small created to explore wearable technology.


The dressmakers had help from various colleagues, including the Microsoft Research hardware
team, who helped them design vintage-looking typewriter keys for the bodice.


Wearable technology studio Electricfoxy interviews Asta Roseway on the fashion and function of "The Printing Dress," a project she and Microsoft employee Sheridan Martin Small created to explore wearable technology. Video credit: Jennifer Darmour, Electricfoxy: www.electricfoxy.com.

[Source: Microsoft Press]