Wearable Tech

The Converse Chuck Taylor All Star is the classic American basketball shoe, beloved around the world for its simple, iconic styling.

Now someone’s tricked out a pair of “Chucks” with a Bluetooth-controlled wah-wah guitar pedal!

That’s right: Musicians wearing these experimental test shoes can rage on stage and use foot action to operate their go-to effects pedal – without actually having to stomp over to the pedal to physically activate it!

Guitarist J Mascis (of the band Dinosaur Jr.) puts the Converse All Wah through its paces – both literally and figuratively.

Putting the Pedal to Rock and Metal

Called the Converse All Wah, the technology was developed by London-based CuteCircuit. The pedal makes adjustments to guitar tone. (Lift your foot up to increase the bass, and down to boost the treble.)

There are several ways the All Wah can be used, including through Bluetooth chain to a traditional wah-wah pedal. You can also use the guitar gizmo through your iPhone or laptop.

Or you can hook the All Wah up to a standard amp connection through the nifty guitar jack in the sole of the shoe (as seen in the video)!

And, because it’s a drag to have equipment die on stage, the All Wah automatically recharges itself wirelessly.

This could be an extremely useful tool for stage guitarists who want to move independently while performing, and need to produce wicked awesome effects right where they stand.

Andy Warhol Converse Chuck Taylors
Converse’s “tribute” shoes include several for artist Andy Warhol, who rose to fame by immortalizing well-known pieces of Pop culture, like the Campbell’s Soup can.

Updating an American Classic

The Converse Chuck Taylor All Star basketball shoe is a triumph of low-tech engineering: just a brown rubber sole with a cotton canvas upper, and fronted by a white rubber toecap.

And yet, it’s the shoe that generations of American kids wore before sports shoes became revolutionized during the 1980s and 1990s. And now they’re seen as paragons of style, favored by famous rockers and power-lifters alike.

Actually, this isn’t the first move to modernize Chuck Taylors. Last year, Converse broadened the All Star line to include the Chuck Taylor All Star II, although the company’s flagship shoe is still in strong demand.

Next year will mark the centennial anniversary of Chucks, which first went into production waaaay back in 1917!

There are specialty lines of Chucks now available, including many shoes created in tribute to musicians and artists that were famous for wearing Chucks.

An Andy Warhol line of Chucks, for example, contains some of his most famous images – such as the Campbell’s Soup can or his silkscreens of Marilyn Monroe. There are even some Warhol Chucks adorned with glow-in-the-dark elements!

white leather Converse All Stars
The author’s choice: traditional white All Stars…with a cool new leather update. (The famous round patch was intended to protect the wearer’s ankles during games.)

Wearable Tech Now Calls the Tune

So far, the Converse All Wah has not been slated for introduction to the consumer musician market, but that’s subject to change if guitarists make their voices heard.

Regardless, it’s a way-cool example of how embedded technology can be used to fuse the twin powers of fashion and functionality – and just another example of how wearable tech is taking over the fashion world, one coolly switched-on garment at a time.

It’s fashion’s biggest night and this year, the Met Gala shone even brighter – thanks to a massive infusion of creative energy from wearable tech.

Wearable tech helps fashion shine at the 2016 Met Gala, with star power from celebrities like Rihanna. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

The event’s theme, “Manus x Machina: Fashion in the Age of Technology,” gave a nod both to fashion that’s handmade (manus) as well as that produced by machine (machina).

Designers addressed the theme in many ways. Some attendees wore garments that actually performed tech functions, while others modeled dresses that could have only been produced because of today’s tech explosion.


The red carpet was strictly A-list, with celebrity designers represented by famous models, singers and actresses:

• The evening’s best reviews belonged to actress Claire Danes, who mesmerized everyone in a dazzling light blue Zac Posen gown that reminded onlookers of Cinderella’s dress to the ball.

That sense of enchantment only grew stronger when the show lights were dimmed and the gown became self-illuminating. Adorned with shimmering LED lights, this dress became the talk of the evening – proving to be a real stunner whether its lighting system was “switched on” or not.

Nobody captured the eye at this year’s Met Gala like Claire Danes, wearing a gorgeous gown that blew everyone away once the lights were down. (Photo Credits: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images (left), Instagram/@zacposen (right))

• Model Karolina Kurkova’s dress also lit up, but most interest involved the tech used to make her beautiful white gown. Design house Marchesa supplied IBM with past examples of their designs, which were entered to IBM’s Watson supercomputer. Then Watson really went to work, actually designing a Marchesa dress based on what it had learned about their style.

The creation it produced was a true work of art, containing intricate pattern work. And for that cool tech touch, this gown also contained LED lights, activating different colors based on the intensity of Twitter chatter.

Karolina Kurkova’s dress not only contained computer technology in its LED lighting; the gown was actually designed by IBM’s Watson supercomputer! (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

• Another actress who captivated the crowds was Nicole Kidman, who was dressed to thrill in a striking black and silver dress and cape designed by Alexander McQueen.

Kidman’s dress honored tech by saluting space exploration. Her outfit was like a view of space, complete with jeweled crescent moons and showers of stars.

A “heavenly” creation worn by actress Nicole Kidman. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)


And so is wearable tech – the intersection of fashion and technology. This summer, DMA tech camps will offer wearable tech courses that are specially designed for girls and led by supportive female instructors.

Plus, there are other great Made By Girls courses to check out!

Not to mention the rest of our fantastic course offerings for this summer season, rapidly shaping up to be our best yet.

Make tech a big part of your summer at DMA!

Families everywhere are getting busy preparing for the holidays. And when Mom and Dad are wrestling with the Christmas budget, they should keep in mind that Digital Media Academy has a surefire way for them to realize big savings…right now.

DMA’s holiday savings machine turns camp discounts into cool tech gifts your family will love.

We call this amazing gizmo the DMA Instant Holiday Savings Machine, and by using it to go ahead now and register for DMA summer tech camps by or before Dec. 21st, families are saving a whopping $100 on each camp registration they book.

It’s an “instant” savings machine because by going ahead and registering your kid or teen for camp, you’ve locked in your savings, resulting in savings you can go ahead and apply now to your holiday purchases.



By going ahead and signing up one child for Summer 2016 camps by December 21st, you can save $100. With that, you could purchase any of these tech gifts:

Easy-to-Swallow Tablet
The Amazon Fire HD 6 gives you a lot for the money, and is now going for only $79.95.

No Wires, No Batteries
The Logitech wireless solar keyboard powers itself and frees you up from pesky keyboard cables. And at $59, it’s a steal.

Vivofit for Life
The Garmin Vivofit 2 wearable tech wristband ($99.99) helps you keep track of your fitness stats.



By going ahead and signing up one child for two Summer 2016 camps by December 21st (or two children for one camp each), you can save $200. Here’s what you could get for that:

3D Printing (in the Palm of Your Hand)
The LIX 3D Printing Pen (inset, top right) lets you “doodle in mid-air,” even make elaborate and wild creations like this. ($150)

Tech-iest Coat in the World?
Ravean jackets are not only heated. They’re also self-drying and can charge your smartphone for you. ($199 for models shown.)

Multi-Tasking Heaven
With Skreens, you can finally have all of your various media inputs on one single screen. ($179)



Now let’s say you’ve got three kids who want to attend DMA tech camps next summer. By going ahead and signing up each child by December 21st, you could save $300. And just look at the cool stuff you could get for that money:

Smooth Sailer
The Parrot Hydrofoil ($299) drone cuts a cool image as it skims across water surfaces at over 6 mph.

Sleeker and Safer
The Exploride HUD ($299) presents screen info in a way that should be less distracting for the driver.

Something for Mom?
The Miragii Bluetooth necklace ($299) alerts you about incoming calls by projecting a text image onto your hand. A miracle of wearable tech design!


DMA’s Holiday Savings Season is a great opportunity for families to give a little boost to their budget, while also locking in the camp or course selection your kid or teen really wants.

And with new DMA courses and locations now being offered, Digital Media Academy is rapidly becoming the tech camp of choice for selective families who want to get the best experience and maximum camp value for their kids.

DMA Holiday Savings Season discounts are only in effect through December 21st. Register now!

If you want to add another amazing talent to the list of things 3D printers can do, here’s one: Change fashion trends.

We’re talking about wearable tech – where fashion and technology intersect, with fascinating results. Consider the work of Israeli artist Noa Raviv:

Only the socks appear conventional: the exciting look of Noa Raviv’s computer-assisted fashions.

Raviv utilizes computer-assisted designs that are carried out by 3D printers. Her work is bold, experimental – sometimes even bizarre.

And it’s getting her noticed as among the first in a “Neo Wave” of fashion designers who use the best tech has to offer to illuminate and radicalize the garments they design.

Many other fashion designers are incorporating cool electronic circuitry to infuse their creations with magical lighting. The results can be extremely memorable and even hypnotic:

The human wardrobe as light show, thanks to wearable tech.


If you’re a teen girl age 12 to 17 who’s interested in fashion design and also intrigued by the cool things that tech can do, maybe you should consider spending part of this summer at Digital Media Academy tech camps.

This is the first year we’ve offered wearable tech courses, and we couldn’t be more excited.

Especially because this is one of DMA’s Made by Girls classes, reflecting a new initiative we’re hoping will encourage young women to take their rightful place in the tech world.

Perhaps you could be the next Noa Raviv and set the world on fire with your creative vision. Who knows?

Learn more about DMA’s wearable tech courses!

Maybe it’s time you got behind the hottest trend in fashion – wearable tech!