Viral Style #67: Apocalypse Jogging Apps, Crowdsourced Clothes, And The World's First Smart Cushion

Viral Style #67 features smart glasses, posture-correcting seats, and the immersive retail displays you'll find 'em in.


Online fashion brand Betabrand make collections with a twist, calling on their fans to co-design and crowdfund each of their pieces over a matter of weeks. Gauging feedback from the site, the styles that elicit the biggest responses are made into real clothing. The Tyvek jacket design you see above, for example, was created by Bre Pettis of MakerBot, who updated a sporty windbreaker with a print inspired by the tessellated patterns produced by 3D mapping. Fancy submitting your own design idea? Head over to Betabrand’s Think Tank.


Design and innovation agency Woke have created JET, a new style of consumer sports smart-glasses that can display personal statistics and data to the wearer as he or she goes about their sporting. Developed by Recon Instruments and Afshin Mehin, the accessory is crafted out of lightweight TR90 plastic, complete with a HUD (heads-up display), and can connect via Bluetooth to show caller ID, social media notifications, and even texts. Wearers can use either hand gestures or a touch-pad to control the device, enabling them to keep tabs on their speed, power, and distance. The glasses are due to drop in December, so all you cyclist types just got a great stocking stuffer.


The Storefront for Art and Architecture has installed an immersive sensory object created by artists Jana Winderen and Marc Fornes. Known as Situation NY, the intricate web of parametrically-generated shapes bring together geometry, sound, and light, and stretches from floor to ceiling. By moving around the network of tunnels formed out of 200 unique parts, which vibrate or responds with light and darkness depending on the person’s activity, visitors can activate the pink fluoro-bright installation. This display will be on view until November 21.

Meanwhile, artist Claudia Hart has tricked out The New Museum store’s window display with an interactive augmented reality installation, on view through October 19th. Inspired by Alice in Wonderland, a full tea set has been created with embedded text and animated code that bring the book to life. The objects themselves can be interacted with piece-by-piece as viewers scan them with their smartphones.

If you live in New York, make sure to check out these innovative new retail displays while you can! If nothing else, do it for me—I’m stuck in London...


If you liked the Smart Yoga Mat from last week’s column, you’ll love this—making waves on Kickstarter right now, Darma is the world’s very first smart cushion. Packaged in a slim, flat shape, this homeware accessory is able to monitor posture, sitting habits and stress levels, and can even give you pointers on how to sit better. Created as a solution to modern life’s increasingly unhealthy, sedentary lifestyles (measured in terms of time spent seated), Darma actually measures inactivity with the express intent of improving physical health, using sensors and feeding its live findings to a linked smartphone app. While undoubtedly an interesting idea, I'm not quite sure how I feel about the idea of a cushion telling me to sit up straight—I already have my mum for that!


Running, right? So yawn. Now that the weather is turning, the idea of hauling yourself off the sofa to sprint around a dark, chilly park isn't all that appealing. Enter the Apocalypse Survival Training app by Imaginactive Fitness: adding a fresh layer of terror into your workout by creating an immersive audio-narrated experience, the augmented reality experience casts you as a survivor of an alien apocalypse in London. With 37 progressive 30-minute fitness missions to try out, ranging from holistic drills and strength circuits to standard sprinting, it's the perfect app to tough out alone, or band together for with friends. The project is currently still seeking funds, so head over to Kickstarter if you want to get in on the action.


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