The Latest in Wearable Tech: Electronic Music-Inspired Clothing

The Latest in Wearable Tech: Electronic Music-Inspired Clothing

Sync is a VJ shirt with an LED plus sign that pulses in response to the background music

Leah Gonzalez
  • 22 august 2014

New York City-based design consultancy and R&D; lab CRATED worked with circuitry and hardware innovations startup Botfactory to create a piece of garment that reacts to ambient music.

Dubbed as Sync, the audio responsive “VJ shirt” features a plus sign-shaped LED on its front that pulses with varying intensity depending on the background music.

The audio responsive shirt was prototyped in only 24 hours, thanks to Squink, the personal electronic circuit factory developed by Botfactory. Squink, which was successfully funded on Kickstarter this week, can print conductive ink and create thin and flexible circuit boards. The plus sign-shaped LED on Sync relies on this type of circuit board set on a patch attached on the inside of the VJ shirt. The beauty of using a circuit created by Squink is that it is self-sustaining and doesn’t involve wires running through the fabric to get it to work. The patch can also be easily removed when the shirt needs to be washed or when the user wants to transfer it to a different piece of clothing.


In a press release, Maddy Maxey, CTO of CRATED, says,

Wearable technology is all about thin, flexible electronics. Botfactory’s Squink means that wearable companies can make their electronics near invisible when it comes to making our clothing smarter.

Nico Vansnick, co-founder and CEO of Botfactory, also adds,

It was astonishing to see CRATED taking a concept and transforming it into a functional artistic design in a single day. The creation of the Sync shirt was following a very aggressive schedule and Squink was the perfect fit for that. The Sync project is both beautiful and interactive; It brought Squink to a totally new realm and the prospects are very exciting.

According to CRATED, the audio responsive shirt was inspired by the emergence of visual DJ’s who incorporate light shows and interactive elements into their performances. With Sync, not only the DJ’s but even the event-goers themselves can become active participants in the visual effects during a performance.

Sync is still a proof of concept at the moment, but CRATED is looking to put in further research into creating a consumer-ready version in the next six months.


CRATED // Botfactory


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