Tech Meets Fashion with NFC, QR Codes, and Augmented Reality


Yesterday I dropped into the MobileAsiaExpo – which is still running in Shanghai through to Friday the 22nd – and got a look into the future of tech and fashion melding together. It comes in the form of an exhibit that features QR codes, NFC, augmented reality, and some daring new clothes.

It’s curated by Anina, the China-loving entrepreneur and former model from America, and covers two main ideas: showing off the work of some Beijing young designers (that’s where the clothes, NFC, and QR codes come in), and also giving visitors an AR-powered guide (pictured above) to the history of Chinese contemporary fashion since the first-ever western-style show here in 1994. For that, the iPad brings the photos on the wall to life with videos and more information about the rise of China’s style industry.

Your correspondent sidles up to a model. (Click to enlarge)

After taking the afore-mentioned tour, you can check out the clothes on display that were created by Bas Kosters with lots of surreal mobile prints, and – more inspiringly – see the work of lots of students at the Esmod fashion school in Beijing who have incorporated some actual tech into the clothes. Some are made of advanced materials and feature designs that are printed on, not weaved in; some designs have light-sensitive areas which, under a camera flash clearly reveal a QR code (pictured right) that can be used, for example, by a brand to promote itself.

There are other practical areas, Anina explains, such as possible incorporation of NFC chips into clothes so that, for example, their brand authenticity can be proved; or silk-thin and flexible LED panels that can be programmed to say anything.

As for Anina’s 360Fashion startup, it quite recently launched the Anina Dress Up app, which is an interactive fashion game that support English and Chinese languages, and allows your ‘dress up’ designs to be shared to some Chinese social media such as Sina Weibo. The iPhone app can be found here.

Find the ‘mobile and fashion’ zone and exhibit in Hall N2 at the MobileAsiaExpo in Shanghai today or tomorrow (Friday the 22nd). Anina will be speaking at 12 noon on Friday on the Innovation Lab stage that’s also in Hall N2.

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