Spider dress shows what happens when IoT, 3D printing and technology combine

14 Apr 2015

The spider dress, modelled by Teodora Sutra

Visitors to the Science Gallery, Dublin on 14 April were able to catch a glimpse of the incredible spider dress designed by Anouk Wipprecht and powered by Intel’s internet of things (IoT) wearable platform, Edison.

The dress had caught the eye of almost all of those who attended this year’s CES event in Las Vegas; the 3D printed dress has an array of sensors that notices when someone gets a little too close to that person’s personal space and expands its mechanical legs, which is sure to give anyone with a fear of spiders a shock.

Led by fashion tech designer Anouk Wipprecht from the Netherlands, the dress is not just an eye-catching piece of clothing, but also an example of the potential for internet of things (IoT) technology, given that its driving force is the Intel IoT platform chip, Edison, which brings computing power down to the size of an SD card for use in wearables.

The dress was a welcome addition to the Lifelogging Exhibition currently underway in the Science Gallery in Dublin, which looks at turning data that we are gathering on our person through wearables, and turning it into usable insights into our daily lives.

Speaking at the dress’ showcasing, Intel’s VP of IoT, Philip Moynagh, said that it was a good example of how our focus on science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM), needs to be updated to ‘STEAM’, highlighting the need to include artistic skill for future innovation.

“What Anouk is doing is showing is that we can take these very effective, very cost-effective, easy-to-use technologies and implement them in close-to everyday objects in a compelling and refreshing manner,” he said.

Women Invent is Silicon Republic’s campaign to champion the role of women in science, technology, engineering and maths. It has been running since March 2013, and is kindly supported by Accenture Ireland, Intel, the Irish Research Council, ESB, Twitter, CoderDojo and Science Foundation Ireland.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic