SICE students present at Fashion Technology Show in NYC

Yingnan Ju (left), Katy Borner (middle), and Andreas Bueckle (right)


At first glance, fashion and technology would seem to be at opposite ends of the spectrum. Researchers at the School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering are trying to help change that.

Katy Börner, distinguished professor, and Ph.D. candidates Andreas Bueckle and Yingnan Ju recently traveled to Fashion Tech Week New York, an event designed to facilitate innovation by empowering fashion tech with the knowledge to transform designing, manufacturing, and data collection management. The idea is to promote strategies that will change the fashion industry business model with analysis that leads to intelligence through the shared experience of peers and industry pioneers.

The trip to Fashion Tech Week New York showcased a collaboration at SICE between the Department of Intelligent Systems Engineering and the Department of Information and Library Science. Bueckle is pursuing his Ph.D. in ILS and uses augmented and virtual reality in conjunction with data visualization. Ju is conducting research in AR and VR as part of a Ph.D. in ISE, and both brought their expertise to the event.

Börner, meanwhile, presented as a keynote speaker on data analysis and visualization in fashion.

“Fashion worn on human bodies offers rich means to sense emotions and/or health relevant data,” Börner said. “Fashion technology provides a novel means to analyze, visualize, and communicate data trends and patterns to experts and lay audiences.”

Bueckle and Ju also presented a talk showcasing the expanding possibilities of augmented and virtual reality. The presentation didn’t show VR/AR in a fashion context but instead focused on showing what is possible for the technology to inspire designers going forward.

“Yingnan and I complemented each other quite well thanks to our different areas of focus,” Bueckle said. “While Yingnan presented different workflows to bring AR to life, I demoed half a dozen little AR ‘scenes’ I created beforehand, including augmenting real-world objects with 3D augmented, animated objects, such as fireworks, in real-time using a webcam.”

“Augmented reality just helps breathe life into things,” Ju said.

Bueckle also showcased the research he has conducted with Börner on Dendrites, which are living architecture sculptures that have been developed in collaboration with Canadian architect/artist Phillip Beesley. Bueckle uses testbeds of dendrites developed and built at IU with his team to collect data, and he hopes to use Dendrites and similar sculptures as anchors to create interactive environments.

“This event was so special for me because we got to interact with a different set of people than we usually do,” Bueckle said. “The experience felt like total freedom. The idea behind this was really to simply demonstrate how much you can achieve with free software and the time you are willing to invest in coming up with a nicely contained 3D scenes. We are witnesses of the dawn of a new medium that will impact many domains of human activity and production.”

For more information about Fashion Tech Week New York, visit the event’s website. A gallery of photos from SICE’s time at the conference are available here.

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