A mind-controlled, 3D printed dress with displays that respond through a brain-computer interface. The new ScreenDress masterpiece, created by Dutch FashionTech Designer Anouk Wipprecht is going to be released during the Ars Electronica Festival, this September 6-11th in Linz, Austria. The 3D printed ScreenDress was designed using PTC’s Onshape software and manufactured using MJF technology by HP.
Measuring cognitive load in real-time, the ScreenDress shows you how much stimulus your brain receives at any given time, and it’s a lot! The term ‘cognitive load’ refers to the amount of information our working memory can process at any given time. What would happen if you could show your cognitive load to the outside world? Increased stress, fatigue, and frustration with your normal daily activities can indicate that cognitive overload is affecting your actions. This project shows the direct correlations between actions and how the brain reacts to them.
ScreenDress brain interface
As a brain-monitoring 3D printed dress embedded with screens, the aptly named ScreenDress creates a technologically mediated dialogue between the person wearing the dress and the surroundings. Fashion becomes a new kind of interconnection, one controlled by subconscious signals from the wearer’s brain. These signals are picked up using a new cutting-edge EEG sensor that forms a wearable brain-computer interface. The interface uses machine learning to determine the mental workload of the wearer. The workload is then reflected in real-time on the six circular displays flaring out from the dress’s sculpted neckpiece.
As the wearer’s mental workload increases towards saturation, each display shows an iris and pupil dilating wider and wider. This, in turn, creates an alienesque spectacle of eyes around the wearer. The EEG sensor is a (3D printed) new 4-channel BCI headset, called Unicorn Headband, developed by NeuroTechcompany g.tec with the help of the designer. The machine-learning software that estimates mental workload is tuned to each wearer during a two-minute training session when they first wear the dress. Not just FashionTech, but NeuroTech Fashion!
Anouk Wipprecht stated: “With electronics becoming smaller and smaller, the possibilities became endless at the beginning of this century. What I have been trying to do for the past 20 years is to connect our bodies to electronics, robotic (fashion) design and wearable interfaces. However, what does it mean when we can connect technological-expressive garments to our bodies, body signals and even emotions? What dialogues can we trigger? This is what I am exploring with designs like these,” Wipprecht said.
The ScreenDress components were designed in PTC’s Onshape cloud-native product development platform and 3D printed by HP Inc. using their Jet Fusion 3D Printing Solution. As a truly cloud-native and full-featured product design platform, Onshape is an ideal tool for innovators and designers to realize their creative projects. This particular project uses various Onshape design capabilities, including mixed modeling, generative design, render studio, and in-context design to reference hardware elements.
“It was fun to utilize the rendering capabilities in Onshape,” said Wipprecht, “It helped me understand the look and feel of possible embedded LEDs and how light reflects back on the body and the space around it. It added more drama this way that we could investigate from the digital side before having to engineer it and explore it in real life.
The ScreenDress was finally brought to reality through HP Inc. The company 3D printed the piece using their new HP Multi Jet Fusion 5420W and the new HP HR 3D PA12 W material. The new PA12 W, a type of nylon, is ideal for engineering-grade, white, quality functional production parts.
“The 3D printed components were very light, like nothing I ever experienced before, and perfect for a dress like this, as you don’t want to have heavy parts filled with technology weighing on your body. It was a perfect match of materiality and design,” said Wipprecht. She continued: “The other cool thing about HP’s new PA12 W prints is that their white parts stay white and don’t discolor over time like some other prints I’ve worked with. They have outstanding shelf-life stability; I experienced no changes in color or mechanical properties after testing. The prints stay white consistently and have a nice light refraction and great strength.”
Wipprecht’s striking designs typically draw attention from the media, and this piece is no different. Even prior to the dress’ official launch, the prototype has already been featured around the world – both online and in magazines and museums. For example, Bionic Pop Artist Viktoria Modesta, who flaunts a prosthetic leg, wore the piece in a photoshoot during the filming of a documentary about AI in LA. Miss Universe Thailand 2022 contestant, Perpetua Smith, also wore the piece on the cover of Pump Magazine. In addition, the first prototype is on display at the ‘Museum voor Beeld & Geluid’ at the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision as ‘a wearable computer,’ in their ‘media devices’ exhibit.
The project will now be demoed during ARS Electronica Festival in Linz, Austria September 6-10th. The question focused on by Europe’s largest festival for art, technology and society is: “Who Owns the Truth?”. After the launch, the dress will be presented during BrainBar in Budapest on September 21+22, then travel to be showcased during the Eindhoven Maker Faire (NL) on September 23+24.