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Shut Up and Take My Money: A column devoted to shamefully coveting ridiculously awesome junk.
Sorry to break it to you, Seattleites, but your wardrobes are in desperate need of an upgrade. What are your existing threads good for, anyway? Protecting your vulnerable, naked physiques from the elements? Pfft. How 15th century. We're in the digital age now, and that means it's time for our clothes to do more than limply hang off our noodly appendages. Sweaters should pulsate to music; pants should broadcast out Tweets. At the very least, my outfit should double as a bar.
With the DareDroid 2.0, it can. Designed by Dutch fashiontech artist Anouk Wipprecht, the futuristic cocktail dress actually serves cocktails. If you satisfy its robot whims, they'll even be alcoholic. You see, the DareDroid is much more than a wearable drink dispenser. The dress is socially sentient, picking and choosing the rewards of its fellow party guests based on their behavior. If a person chats with the DareDroid's wearer at a respectable distance--as determined by the dress's movement-sensitive collar--the garment's chest plate will pour him a virgin refreshment from its elaborate coffers.
"I like this guy," the dress decides and ups the stakes of the interaction, beckoning the gentleman to partake in a game of Truth or Dare. The participant makes his selections by poking the wearer's digital wristband, which wirelessly communicates with the rest of the dress.
After the fellow has divulged his kinky secrets and/or performed the chicken dance to the Droid's satisfaction, the dress will reward him by adding the much-awaited alcohol to the original concoction. If the guest gets overzealous, however, and intrudes the human host's personal space bubble, the dress completely shuts down and denies any and all bad-decision-nectar.
Part manners' teacher, part enabler, the DareDroid is pretty much all awesome. The best part is that for all its functions, the dress is hardly a bulky Transformer look-alike. Instead, the robot garment is sleek and minimal, housing all the messy hardware in a spider-like contraption on the wearer's back. The wires become a part of the vision, the beakers accentuate the aesthetic. Watch the DareDroid in action below:
On the sadder end of the self-aware, social-apparel spectrum, is the Like-A-Hug vest. The garment is wirelessly linked to the wearer's Facebook and responds to "Likes" received on the user's Wall by inflating, thereby simulating an embrace. Like a photo, send a hug. Not only can the wearer revel in the love of a ballooned-out, synthetic vest, he can return the favor by deflating it, thus triggering a gift-back "Like" to the sender and avoiding ever leaving the house.
Whether you're ready to party with the social butterfly DareDroid or want to stay inside with her introverted Like-A-Hug cousin, the trend is clear: clothes aren't just for hanging anymore.