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CES 2015: Intel's Smart Spider Dress is more freaky than fantastic

A collaboration between Intel and experimental designer Anouk Wipprecht has led to the creation of a dress that can defend its owner.

The Smart Spider Dress comes equipped with a number of animatronic spider legs that react to “real-time biometrics based on pre-programmed social norms and violations.”

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The designer previously used external storage and sensors to determine the dress’ actions, but now utilises Intel’s Edison module, bringing a level of “computing intelligence” to the dress. It means that the dress can react in real-time to changes in the wearer’s emotions and desires.

Wipprecht described the dress as an interface between the body and the external world.

“It uses technology and the garment as a medium of interaction,” she said. “Since the system based with mechanic spider legs is literally hosted on the shoulders of the wearer and attacks using the same viewing angle as the wearer, the system knows how you feel and adapts to those feelings,” she said.

While most wearable gadgets settle for a less intimidating aesthetic, the Smart Spider Stress has the potential to help protect the wearer. The system can measure the stress levels in your body, as well as what is happening in the surrounding area and reacts accordingly. If the wearer is approached at an aggressive pace, the dress enters “territorial attack mode,” while a more gently approach will see the device adopt an inviting stance.

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While it would be easy to dismiss the 3D-printed dress as an expensive Halloween outfit, it could be put to more practical purposes. Wipprecht believes it could even have healthcare benefits, alerting the wearer to sit down before vital signs reach heart-attack levels.

The Smart Spider Dress made its first public appearance yesterday at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, but there are currently no plans to release the dress commercially.