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October 13, 2023

When Tech Meets Textile: The Birth of Dynamic Color-Changing Fashion

The fashion runways have always been a place where art and expression meet, but at the ANREALAGE SPRING/SUMMER 2024 Paris Collection, held on September 26, 2023, we saw a paradigm shift. The Collection became a platform where cutting-edge technology merged with human creativity, leading to something very special.

Imagine a world where your clothing can change its color and pattern, not through manual design alterations, but with the melding of material and ambient lighting. Something for the future? The future arrived at the Paris Collection, courtesy of NTT, ANREALAGE Corporation, and IMAGICA GROUP Corporation.

At the heart of the three partners' innovation is hyperspectral imaging. While most of us are accustomed to the RGB in our photos - the red, green, and blue colors that combine to give us the vivid images on our screens - hyperspectral imaging dives deeper. It dissects the electromagnetic spectrum far beyond RGB and captures detailed information from many more bands. It's like transforming a three-key piano into a grand piano with hundreds of keys, each revealing a different note or, in this case, color.

When Tech Meets Textile: The Birth of Dynamic Color-Changing Fashion

This technology is not just limited to high-fashion runways. It has a number of potential applications:

- Healthcare & Diagnostics: Hyperspectral imaging has the potential to be used to detect abnormalities in tissues or to visualize blood flow, potentially helping in early diagnosis and monitoring of diseases.

- Food Safety & Quality: In the food industry, hyperspectral imaging could be used to detect contaminants, assess the ripeness of fruits, or determine the quality and authenticity of meat and other products.

- Retail Experience Enhancement: Imagine a retail store where the ambiance, including the lighting, changes based on the products' colors and patterns, enhancing the overall shopping experience.

- Entertainment & Gaming: Game developers and movie creators can utilize hyperspectral imaging to create more realistic environments or special effects based on real-world lighting and color conditions.

In Paris this year, the key to tying this technological evolution to the runway was the "Umwelt" concept. A term introduced by biologist Jakob von Uexküll, "Umwelt" explains how every organism has its unique perception of the world. It's a concept that implies that just as a bee might see ultraviolet patterns on a flower invisible to the human eye, the world of fashion, when combined with hyperspectral imaging, can bring out patterns and colors imperceptible in any other setting.

NTT, ANREALAGE and IMAGICA EEX's collaborative efforts made the runway a canvas of dynamic shifts in clothing color, demonstrating the exciting dance between material and lighting.

But why stop here? With the technology available, the realm of possibilities is endless. The precision of hyperspectral imaging, combined with lighting simulation, allows for perfecting the appearance of objects under various lighting conditions, marking a new era in fashion and beyond. The initiative not only showcases the huge potential of blending technology with fashion, but also anticipates a future where retail, arts, and entertainment will be transformed.

NTT--Innovating the Future of Fashion

Picture: Daniel O'Connor

Daniel O'Connor joined the NTT Group in 1999 when he began work as the Public Relations Manager of NTT Europe. While in London, he liaised with the local press, created the company's intranet site, wrote technical copy for industry magazines and managed exhibition stands from initial design to finished displays.

Later seconded to the headquarters of NTT Communications in Tokyo, he contributed to the company's first-ever winning of global telecoms awards and the digitalisation of internal company information exchange.

Since 2015 Daniel has created content for the Group's Global Leadership Institute, the One NTT Network and is currently working with NTT R&D teams to grow public understanding of the cutting-edge research undertaken by the NTT Group.