Editor's note: Linda will be speaking at Women 2.0 Conference on February 14 about starting up and emerging markets, including LatAm. By Linda Franco (Co-Founder & CMO, Machina)
I am the only women co-founder and worker out of the 11 employed at Machina. The masculine focus of Machina is not what is a challenge for me; the challenge lies within the technology and its development.
My passion and career is in fashion, trendspotting and managing projects, which is challenging when you have a brand with two completely different areas (fashion and technology). The times of delivery and methodology are very unequal. Not many people understand how to handle this situation because they find it very difficult to focus both subjects as one. But here we are, introducing one of the products that we have worked for a long time - and is now available on Kickstarter.
Machina is a wearable technology company and we’ve been developing a new concept. We are a menswear brand that is creating wearable technology that is fashionable, functional and adaptable; integrating seamlessly with other technologies and it is always created by the fashion designer’s perspective: The focus is on design and usability, not just innovation.
Now, imagine being able to create music by using your body as an interface... This is the MIDI Jacket. We launched Midi Controller Jacket (MJ v1.0) last week, made for performance musicians and producers. It is a jacket that allows users to create music through body movements and through body sensors. The midi jacket comes with:
- Four flexible sensors which can detect the finger’s position
- One accelerometer which can detect the arm’s acceleration
- A joystick to navigate tracks
- 4 configurable push buttons
All of these sensors and buttons can be configured by the user - the sensors are invisible except for placeholders. The jacket can be worn as a regular jacket.
Now where do I fit in? As I mentioned before, I catch the trends for Machina. It was months of research to have the perfect fabrics that could later interact organically with the technology, the design being functional for the user and visual identity of a product for aspiring musicians, fashionistas and people who like to buy cool stuff.
We are talking about a jacket made with a unique and exceptional concept of the finest tailoring - its aesthetic is characterized by a conscientious attention to detail and heavy feeling. Due to its smart fabrics, water slides down without damaging any part of the electronics embedded in the jacket.
We have been working on the MIDI JACKET for over a year now at Machina - going through many prototype phases, working with different musicians, DJ’s, producers around the world to have the perfect use of it, to satisfy each of the users needs.Now that we are live in the number one crowdfunding platform of the world, it all seems like a roller coaster of emotions, a dream.
Help us back this project at Kickstarter here.
Women 2.0 readers: What do you think of wearable technology?
About the guest blogger: Linda Franco is the co-founder of Machina, MACHINA, a wearable technology fashion brand. Linda studied marketing and strategic design in Centro University in Mexico City. She co-founded The Gyzu Experiment, a web design and development firm, and Plan de Escape, a project where male inmates in a prison for violent crimes where taught about fashion, marketing, and trends. The project culminated in a fashion brand owned by the inmates that can be used as a path to rehabilitation when leaving prison. Follow her on Twitter at @LindaLFranco.