Cyberpunk Jacket Is The Garment Of Choice For The Streets Of 2019

Fans of science fiction and related genres have always been disappointed by real life. The future holds so much promise on paper, yet millions were disappointed upon reaching 2015 to find that hoverboard technology still eluded us. It’s not all bad, though – [abetusk] has developed a cyberpunk jacket so you can live out your grungy hacker fantasies in real life.

The effect is achieved with specially designed jacket patches. Nylon fabric is lasercut with artwork or lettering, and then placed over an electroluminescent panel. The fabric acts as a mask and is glued onto the EL panel, and the assembly is then attached to the back of the jacket with velcro.

It’s a build that focuses on more than just a cool visual effect. The attention to detail pays off in robustness and usability – wires are neatly fed through the lining of the jacket, and special strain relief devices are used to avoid wires breaking off the EL panels. The extra effort means this is a jacket that can withstand real-world use, rather than falling apart in the middle of a posed photo shoot.

Everything is well documented, from artwork creation to final assembly, so there’s no reason you can’t replicate this at home – and the final results are stunning. Our take is that electroluminescent technology is the way to go for retro and cyberpunk looks, but LEDs can be fun too – like in this high-powered Burning Man build.



21 thoughts on “Cyberpunk Jacket Is The Garment Of Choice For The Streets Of 2019

    1. Exactly. Cyberpunk stopped being quite as fun because it stopped being fantasy. It hits a little too close to home these days. Incredibly few of the prognostications in cyberpunk failed to come true in some form save for the fashion and the whole punk anti-establishment rebellion part. Which is a real shame because we could really use more of that.

  1. It really does capture the aesthetic well though. If we’re going to have ubiquitous computing (and the distopian surveillance by advertisers that comes with it) we might as well enjoy the snazzy outfits as a consolation prize =:->

  2. Looks interesting. But you can do a lot also with just using some sort of phosphorescent material – for example strontium aluminate. I am not sure you can buy any fabric, but there is for example the Cyalume Cyflect material (which really caught my attention some time ago) and probably some other ones.

    1. Correct me if I’m wrong, but from googling around, strontium aluminate is the ‘glow in the dark’ goo that you find in, say, glow sticks (the “break and shake” kind) and cyalume cyflect is the super reflective material that you find on, say, safety helmets and vests. While the strontium aluminate glows actively, the lifetime is limited and the other is essentially a passive element that’s only able to reflect light, not generate it.

      One of the benefits of the EL panels is that they’re active, taking power from a battery pack and inverter. Also from what little experience I have with glow sticks, the light emitted is much brighter.

      While wearing EL patches out, people have often mistaken it for some type of super reflective material (I guess cyflect?) so the end result is similar.

      1. No,
        those “break and shake” sticks are one-time usable things using some sort of irreversible chemical reaction that produces light.

        Strontium aluminate is glow-in-the-dark material available in various forms (I know beads, some sort of “pebbles” or “sand”, tapes etc.) you “charge” by exposing to daylight (or even any other light like LED torch or fluorescent lamps). Then it glows for some limited time until it “runs out” and needs another “charging”. It is often use for marking emergency exits etc. where you expect “charging” during normal days and it will glow when the lights go off during emergency.

        The EL panels need batteries as they are active and also possibly much more susceptible to damage.
        I just thought the phosphorescent materials would also offer a lot of creative use in this way.

  3. Regarding predicting the future: nobody expected that videos were going to be shot in portrait mode.
    And if you would propose it to someone they might have laughed at you very very hard, yet it is among us all the time, nobody likes it but it seems that there is no way back. All the progress of almost a century of television and movie format development has gone down the drain in just a few years… punks

    1. Portrait mode works for me – means I don’t have too my phone sideway to watch the video.

      In this particular video it works even batter as the subject matter is tall and slim so the frame is not wasted on superfluous background.

      Wide screen outside of a movie is a waste of screen realestate

      1. hmmm… you never watched a vertical video about a car then or a bus or a truck perhaps. But you are right about this specific situation.

        But to be honest… I think the whole world is using his/her phone incorrectly. The device should be held horizontal all day. It works better for websites, it works better for typing, it works better for watching and making videos.
        If you look at the smartphones of the past with integrated keyboards they were intended to be held horizontal. Just as we all were intended (like most living creatures) to watch everything in landscape mode.

        1. You’re making tons of assumptions. Any website that’s responsive will look and read better in portrait, just like a book, because it’s easier to follow like breaks on narrower mediums. Landscape typing was made for two fingers. People now use one finger to swipe (and one hand to hold the phone). Additionally, virtual keyboards in landscape mode block the content of the page which makes typing a large paragraph like this a total mess.

    1. LG hav been working on this for years and just revealed a 65″ 8K TV that rolls up like a yoga mat at CES. I think that in a couple of years this might he a reality for you. I’m dreading when advertising companies work out that they can pay people to walk around playing videos in our faces everywhere.

      1. I want a printer that can apply an OLED screen to any smooth surface, flat or (within limits) not flat. Print a video display on a car door or hood. Animate turn signals across the whole back end of a van. Put little cameras all around and display their view on the opposite side. Like this but all the way around and much higher resolution.

    2. I was just thinking I’d like to take a bunch or red, yellow, white, and blue rectangular panels unmolested. Patch it together all over your jacket leaving maybe an inch of border around each and you have yourself a walking Mondrian in the night. How cool would that be?

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