Select your localized edition:

Close ×

More Ways to Connect

Discover one of our 28 local entrepreneurial communities »

Be the first to know as we launch in new countries and markets around the globe.

Interested in bringing MIT Technology Review to your local market?

MIT Technology ReviewMIT Technology Review - logo

 

Unsupported browser: Your browser does not meet modern web standards. See how it scores »

Technology Review has written about several projects aimed at improving piezoelectric materials, which harvest small amounts of energy from walking and other motion to generate electricity. Usually their aim is to make something that can recharge a cell phone or relieve a soldier from having to carry heavy batteries to power his gear. A piece by Ada Brunstein in the latest issue of the Atlantic (“The Little Black Piezoelectric Dress”) shows these high-tech materials being put to use in a different way: to make something beautiful. From the story:

According to the designer Amanda Parkes, among the most important functions of technologically enhanced designer wear are power generation and storage. Parkes designed the Piezing, a dress that uses piezoelectric discs and film to harness the body’s movement for electrical power, which is stored in a battery near the belly button. (Piezoelectric materials use vibrations from movement to generate electricity.) The battery can then be used to charge a favorite device. Elena Corchero’s exquisite parasols and fans are adorned with intricate embroidery. But solar cells, conductive thread, and batteries give her old-school style a modern twist: Corchero’s Light Gown is a sexy nightie that turns into a night-light when hung on its charger-hook.

2 comments. Share your thoughts »

Tagged: Materials, energy harvesting, fashion, piezoelectricity

Reprints and Permissions | Send feedback to the editor

From the Archives

Close

Introducing MIT Technology Review Insider.

Already a Magazine subscriber?

You're automatically an Insider. It's easy to activate or upgrade your account.

Activate Your Account

Become an Insider

It's the new way to subscribe. Get even more of the tech news, research, and discoveries you crave.

Sign Up

Learn More

Find out why MIT Technology Review Insider is for you and explore your options.

Show Me
×

A Place of Inspiration

Understand the technologies that are changing business and driving the new global economy.

September 23-25, 2014
Register »