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Zip
Control Your Music

Zip is a garment that explores the aesthetics and interaction of wearable technology solutions that have built-in music controls. There are many products on the market today ranging from snowboard jackets to hoodies that allow you to connect your music player and control it using buttons integrated into the textiles. However, most of the solutions simply take the music player's hardware controls and replicate them on the sleeve or inside the lapel using eTextiles. Although still innovative, Zip investigates this further by:

Garment interactions
Rather than replicating hardware controls into soft textiles, Zip also considers some of our basic garment mechanics and integrates the controls into the gestures that we already perform with our clothing.

Aesthetics
Rather than simply attaching technology to clothing or hiding it in pockets, Zip considers the aesthetics of the technology, exposes it, and uses it as part of the overall styling of the garment.

Manufacturing
We are starting to see more wearable technology enter the public's eye, yet producing tech garments is still one of the major road blockers due to high cost, lack of streamlined manufacturing processes and a variety of other variables. Zip is designed to be manufactured with both the pattern and ciruit design aimed for production.

 

Special thanks to Issara Willenskomer at Dos Rios Films for the Cinematography and Production of this video and to Leo Lam for the still photography.

The experience

Zip is a garment that connects to your phone or music player and allows you to control it simply by performing natural gestures that are built into the mechanics of the garments we wear. In this case, zip up to increase the volume, zip down to decrease it, and tug on the pullstraps to retract the integrated earbuds. Enjoy your music experience without all the devices and wires hanging all over you.

Zipper control
The main interaction is located in the zipper, which is used to control the volume. As you zip your jacket up, protecting yourself from the outside world, the volume increases. As you unzip, you turn the volume down, opening yourself up to intimacy and conversations.

Earbud collar
Earbuds are integrated into the jacket and nicely nested away in the collar. When you want to use them, simply pull them out of the collar. When you're done, pull on the collar pullstraps to retract them back into the collar.

Device pocket
The pocket allows you to connect your device (such as a phone or music player). A retractable connector allows you to pull the device out of your pocket at any time without disconnecting your experience.

Future versions
Zip focuses on one of the fundamental music controls: volume. Imagine the possibilities of future versions that allow you to have even more control. Skip tracks, pause, and browse your playlists, all through gestures that we naturally perform.

The construction

Electronics & technology
The technology was made out of soft circuitry that replaced hard components resulting in a technology-integrated garment that moves and bends with your body and that can be easily washed.

Garment design
The garment went through a variety of drafts, tests and design iterations in order to strike the right balance between aesthetics, functionality and technology integration. The photos show the final draft pleat contruction.

Pleat patterning
The pleats consist of geometric patterning made from embroidered conductive threads that are used as the main functional element of the garment. So rather than hiding hard components in pockets and compartments inside the garment, the components were replaced with soft circuitry that are flexible, can be easily washed, and that are exposed as part of the aesthetics and graphic patterning on the outside. In this case, the technology is both functional and aids to the overall aesthetic of the garment.

 

electricfoxy

Clothing is a core part of our expression and offers ways for us to communicate who we are and the context in which we live. Technology enables a richer connection with people and our environment and offers a new platform for communication and expression.

By merging the intimacy of clothing with the empowerment of technology, electricfoxy garments strive to enhance our lives and offer a much richer language for self-expression.

As an outcome, rather than simply attaching technology to clothing, electricfoxy investigates garments that have electronics built directly into them resulting in a new aesthetic of form and behavior that become a core part of our expression, our identity, and our individuality.

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For order inquiries, please contact:
orders@electricfoxy.com

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For questions about this project, requests for photos and press materials, or to simply send feedback and comments on the project, contact:

Jennifer Darmour (bio)
jennifer@electricfoxy.com

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electricfoxy.com