Wearable maps make location data fashionable!!!
For many us, wearing location-specific clothes, whether it's your university alma mater or just a touristy t-shirt, is a way of transmitting a cultural identity or point of view.
Now one data visualizer and mathematician has taken that concept to the next level by using technology to create a system that lets you literally wear your own custom maps.
Brooklyn-based Rachel Binx created Monochome to allow anyone to use aggregated geographic data collected by OpenStreetMap and have any location on the planet printed on apparel.
Users simply visit the website, enter any street address, and watch as the map, which comes in light or dark variations, is layered across the garments. The currently available apparel, skirts and tops geared toward women, is priced from $45 to $75.
"I'm excited about data-generated designs and one-off manufacturing," Binx told Mashable. "And, in general, I'm excited about a future where each of our objects could be customized to what we find interesting or meaningful, without having to cost a fortune."
But her customized approach to tech-powered fashion doesn’t end with just clothing. "I've got another small company [Meshu] that explores this in the jewelry space," says Binx. What Meshu does is take map data based on your travels (or random map points you select) and transforms the designs created by the travel history lines into laser cut or 3D-printed jewelry.
As we watch the fashion industry gradually increase its embrace of technology, from design to manufacturing, experimental plays like Binx's are becoming ever more common. As for her map data-driven clothing, Binx says she's just getting started.
"I started with women's garments only because those are the styles that I was able to find that were produced quickly — one to two weeks versus four to six — affordable, and high-quality fabric," says Binx. "I'm planning to offer t-shirts in early 2015, and hopefully other clothing styles after that."