The hottest wearable designs from London's Central Saint Martins' Show Two

Wearable projects and connected self concepts from tomorrow's top designers
Hot wearable designs from Show Two
Wareable is reader-powered. If you click through using links on the site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

London's Central Saint Martins is home to boundary-pushing designers of tomorrow and the university's prestigious Show Two is a chance for those 1,300 summer graduates to give the world a taste of what's to come.

We took a stroll through the halls of fashion, textiles, jewellery and industrial design, talked to the students behind them and picked our 10 favourite wearable, smart home and connected self products.

Incoming tech: The most anticipated wearables yet to land

Read on to find out what the best young minds in Britain have designed...


Slightly shocked with the normalisation of the binge drinking culture in the UK, Valerie Rajadasri Chiu has designed this discreet wearable called the Alcuff. It's based on existing technology for those placed under house arrest in the US and it measures blood alcohol concentration through perspiration on the skin. That's then sent to the app on your phone which warns you to slow down or take a drink of water when passing certain booze thresholds.

The Alcuff is at its best, though, when used in pairs with a buddy who may or may not be in the same location. The tipsy notifications are also sent to your friend when you reach risky levels of inebriation and will even alert them with your Wi-Fi-triangulated location if necessary. With many of the biggest dangers of binge drinking from falls, getting lost or criminals taking advantage, it's a certainly a decent idea.

Combine that location with an Uber app and you can sort them a safe ride home too - and all without even needing to be in the same country.


With a targeted production cost of just $5, Terrawatch is a wrist-worn early warning system with the have-nots very much in mind. Sabrina Muzi's research on natural disasters around the world highlighted how ineffective early warning systems are for those not connected to the internet and other media that everyone takes for granted in the developed world. Word might simply not reach populations such as those of the slums of Manilla, for example, in time for them to take proper precaution before a flash flood.

The plan would be for the UN or another charity organisation to sponsor this scheme and hand out these simple rubber wearables where the cost is kept down thanks to having no sensor technology whatsoever and just one very simple function. When the weather centre warning is sent out over the network, Terrawatch lights up with the relevant symbol - bush fire, flood, tsunami, earthquake, tornado or volcano - and vibrates to alert the users.

Probably the main drawback, in its current guise, would be to keep people from taking it off but there's no reason why it needs to be in this particular form factor indefinitely and it's hard to argue with an idea that's simple and could be so very effective at saving hundreds of lives too.

Obsolete Clothing

People seem to just love buying cheap, disposable clothes despite how horribly unsustainable the fashion industry is reported to be but Rebecca Cooper has a novel take on how to deal with a habit that's just too popular to stop - make the garments even cheaper and last just 90 days.

The Obsolete label she has created through her work on the Material Futures course is about making clothes that are completely biodegradable. Using waste products from the sugarcane and maize industries, she's created fabrics and designs that can be printed out and stitched together using inkjet colour cartridges loaded up with natural dyes for the patterns.

Obviously, Obsolete items won't make it through the washing machine but their short life cycle means that they can be even more on trend with the knowledge that they're only going to be around for a few months. Once you're done, pop them in your food waste box and they'll be compost quicker than you can say "sweat shop".


Perhaps not a surprise that this smart home solution for shared accommodation was dreamed up by a student, I.O.U. might just be the ultimate in passive aggressive note-leaving.

It's an app-based web service with an all-important physical side to its existence. Housemates inputs what they spend each day into the house virtual account - toilet paper, gas bills, etc - and I.O.U prints out receipts to pin on the board at a moment's request when you're looking to to settle up exactly who owes whom and what.

What's quite nice about it is that it will encourage you to log everything you spend because, if you don't, you're going to end up paying far more than your fair share. So, fewer arguments and less waddling around the house looking for something to wipe your butt with.


Trunkr is an app for your phone that's designed to get the most out of the data we produce without really thinking about it. It records and analyses the phone calls you make matching them up for content with your heart rate, your skin temperature levels and your voice volume too.

It then helps you to figure out what it is that you're not doing very well in your relationships with certain people; what subjects or kinds of questioning sets you off? There's even a second speaker unit which plays back those calls for you to listen to once you get home.

As slavish as that sounds, the idea is to use Trunkr only in specific situations for short periods as an aid to therapy; so, for example, for conversations with your partner if you're going through marriage counselling and it will analyse the sentiment and let you know what positive and negative words you used and to what effect.


Taking the world of AR off your head and onto something more equivalent to a fan, a monocle or a set of lorgnettes is Marcus Kane's Lens. It's a handheld, positional tracking communicator aimed at teenagers because 80% of the interaction of this age group is done digitally and the idea is to drag that into the real world just a little further.

Rather than getting out your phone and FaceTiming your mates wherever they are, Lens adds them into your context and surroundings thanks to eight depth-sensing cameras which track your eyes and your background too. Then, putting that altogether is some 3D mapping software to plonk your buddies right next to you as seen through the device.

While Lens might be limited to a single function at the moment. Kane's idea is that it eventually becomes a tool of complete interaction with your environment with the next stage possibly using it as a way to bookmark what's around you for later research and reference.

Trehalose Artefacts

It's often quoted that water will be the precious commodity we fight over in the next 100 years instead of oil and Jaime Tai's wearable project is an interesting way of turning that problem on its head. Trehalose is a natural sugar that protects cells from dehydration and could be used to develop a line of products that would enable us to live without having to consume quite so much H2O.

The journey begins with a series of oils to rub on your skin, much as we do with sun lotion these days, but things get interesting when the Trehalose Artefacts brand moves into electronic tattoos which monitor hydration levels to let users know when it's time to reapply. It makes the system more accurate and reduces wastage. The big step, though, is eventually a clothing line which will microencapsulate the trehalose compound for steady release.


Ok. Prepare to get conceptual. Mindfullness has become a popular practice of the day. It's about helping people to switch off the over-active, over-stimulated brain - often through meditation - to access and, get more in touch with, your calmer self. Well, Hortense Duthilleux likes the goal but apparently not the methodology and so has instead come up with a way of connecting with the self using light.

We're incredibly sensitive to differences in light intensity and wavelength and Duthilleux's vision is of a society who bathe in colour through eyewear, spinning fans and other delivery systems with the regularity and enthusiasm of a religion or cult.

If you don't like the extremity of the extrapolation, then fair enough but the science is sound. We already have photo filters and polarized glasses for any rose-tinted view that we need. Why not have a wearable that really gets specific with colour for your mood?


Halo is a wearable to add a much-needed togetherness to the global football brand. It's increasingly hard to feel connected with your favourite team when either you can't afford a ticket or you live too far away from the stadium for a seat at the game to be a reality.

Wathanga Muy Junior's answers is this low cost armband which you slip onto your sleeve wherever you are when the captain leads his players out onto the field. Inside is a system of accelerometers and gyros which sense the nervous and excited movements of those wearing Halo. All of those measurements are sent up to the Halo servers, via your smartphone, and as the count in the central system rises, everyone's armbands around the world begin to light up. The more exciting the game, the brighter they glow.

It's possibly easy to dismiss this as something of a gimmick, at first, but thinking about the vision of tens of thousands of Halos shining away in the stadium while yours at home is doing the same is quite a compelling picture. Plenty of scope for getting the tech into your team shirt too.


There are posture trackers on the market like Lumo Lift and others but – although perhaps the point - wearing an uncomfortable lump of plastic at the base of your spine is a pretty difficult sell. Ji Hyun Oh's idea is to give these devices a both a little pizazz and feminine charm in the fight against the phenomenon known as Text Neck.

Coined by Dr Dean Fishman, it refers to repeated stress to the top of your spine by hunching down over mobile phones and tablets and it causes both pain and a stooped posture. Not a good look. Instead, pop the fashion conscious E-reflexo in your ear, with its system of microelectromechanical balance sensors, and it'll buzz your mobile when you're getting things all wrong. Oh, and while it's there, it may as well act as a health monitor and a little Bluetooth speaker too.


What do you think?
Reply to
Your comment