How tech is changing fashion in the UAE

The future of fashion is filled with virtual dressing rooms, 3d printed dresses and multi-touch tables.

Meryl D'Souza June 16, 2016

At the Electronic Entertainment Expo (or E3 as it’s commonly known) this year Microsoft announced two new Xbox consoles.

The Xbox One S, a smaller, more powerful successor to the Xbox One and the Project Scorpio, a gaming device far more powerful than any other in the world that will support 4K resolution. 

The announcements had their ups and downs but we’re not here to bicker over why you should buy one over the other. Instead, we’re focusing on what one of them, the Xbox, brings to the table outside of the gaming world, namely in fashion. 

 Last month we told you about The Custom Shop New York brand in Dubai that’s using Microsoft’s Xbox One Kinect as a body scanner to make you a bespoke suit.

In the US, fashion tech company Styku has monetised that same technology so successfully that they can now call the fashion house Brooks Brothers their client.

Virtual Style Pod

Besides the Custom Shop New York and their bespoke suits, Flux Innovation Lounge in Dubai is taking the region to the next level in the fashion-meets-technology department.

In November last year, the London-based innovation hub devised a Virtual Style Pod for The Galleria Mall in Abu Dhabi, which allowed shoppers to virtually ‘try on’ clothes from a selection of retail brands using 3D body-mapping technology. 

The Pod featured an army of brands including Diesel, DKNY, La Martina, Longchamp, Michael Kors, The Cobbler, Tommy Hilfiger and Ermenegildo Zegna. 

Aside from trying to change the way you try on your clothes, Flux is also changing the way you buy your attire with the help of cameras, image detection, projectors and multi-touch tables and walls. 

The tables are smart enough to read a product placed on them so that when a user interacts, it immediately throws up relevant information along with different colour schemes. 

The touch walls that feature full HD screens are supposed to help consumers scan through every variety of product they’re looking for. So if you’re looking for a particular shoe within the space, instead of scourging through the shop, you could simply scroll through the screen to see if it’s available. 

The future

You’ve probably heard of the 3D-printed office building that opened in the UAE last month. The 2,700-square-foot, single-story building was built in just 17 days using a gigantic, 20-foot tall 3D printer and a special mix of concrete, fibre reinforced plastic and glass fibre reinforced gypsum. 

3D printing has been the rage for the last two years so naturally, people were going to apply it wherever they could. At the Consumer Electronics Show this year, New York-based fashion designer Sylvia Heisel premiered a 3D printed dress. 

Made from NinjaFlex filament, the dress was printed on a MakerBot Replicator 2 3D printer – which means anyone could print it at home – and incurred zero waste in manufacturing. 

There’s also a case to be made about how wearable tech is gaining momentum and finally looks the part too thanks to Levi’s and Google collaborating on Project Jacquard

Make no mistake we’re still in the Stone Age equivalent of the marriage between tech and fashion. The exciting bit is that the UAE is moving almost at pace with the global trendsetters.