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3D-printed dress lets you wear your heart(beat) on your sleeve

The Synapse dress integrates Intel's Edison chip and a range of sensors to show on the outside what the wearer is feeling within.

The Synapse, a mind-controlled dress powered by Intel's Edison wearable microcomputer and created by Dutch designer Anouk Wipprecht. Intel

Anouk Wipprecht's creations aren't your ordinary, run-of-the-mill couture; instead, they blend fashion and technology in fascinating ways to create some truly innovative wearables. We suppose it was only a matter of time before Wipprecht added Intel's Edison chip -- unveiled at CES this year and designed for wearable technology -- to one of her creations.

It's not what she has done, however, but how she has done it. She has combined the chip with a variety of sensors so that the Synapse dress -- 3D printed from a very flexible material called thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU), and created in collaboration with designer Niccolo Casas and Materialise -- lights up embedded LEDs according to a variety of stimuli from the body of the wearer.

Using a special headpiece that uses Electroencephalography (EEG), as well as Electrocardiography (EKG) in the bodice, the ensemble is able to pick up brain activity and heart rate. These are used to monitor the wearer's "focus", or level of attention in whatever she is viewing, setting the LEDs to glow or, if her attention reaches 80 percent, take a photo with the camera embedded in the dress's bodice so that she will have a snapshot of whatever made her feel tense or relaxed.

Synapse also has a proximity sensor built in to measure how close other people are to the wearer. If the dress notices that the wearer's heart rate is speeding up and her brain activity is working a certain way while also detecting that people are standing very close, it will shine the LEDs at their full 120-watt brightness as a warning to back off.

Video gif by Michelle Starr/CNET

"Connecting raw data driven in real time by wireless bio signals was never before that accessible for me, since the micro controllers that I used were either low in processing power or big and bulky. This means they are hard to integrate into fashion," Wipprecht said.

"Edison allows me to integrate a super small piece of technology which can quickly compute complicated sets of signals, on-board storage and interconnect wirelessly to a lot of input data at once in a more advanced and intelligent way, to run my designs."

Check out a video of the dress in action below.