Using technology to bring new products to market has been top of mind for finalists in this year's Ideation competition for fashion students organised by apparel software and systems supplier Gerber Technology.

The five finalists, out of more than 90 entries, will feature at Ideation 2018 on 3-5 October at Nobu Hotel, Miami Beach, Florida.

"Designers were tasked with incorporating technology and using the Pantone Color of the Year, Ultra Violet, along with any combination of colours from the associated colour palettes provided by Pantone," says Elizabeth King, VP, digital solutions community and ecosystem at Gerber Technology. "Conference attendees will vote for the best overall garment to win the grand prize. Our goal is to make it easy to design, produce and sell great products and Gerber helps our customers do this by enabling their digital reality."

Submitted applications came from 17 schools across the US and include a garment utilising organic fabrics and dyes with unconventional materials, wearable tech and laser cut motif inspired by the Aztec culture, and digitally and 3D printed ball gown.

Also in the final five is a jacket with solar panels installed on the sleeves, which is connected to a phone charger in the jacket pocket, a top and a dress that utilised an electronic cutting machine to cut out floral designs and a textile that is digitally printed.

Ideation is a software conference dedicated to fashion and retail professionals who use Gerber's end-to-end digital solutions to integrate software like YuniquePLM and AccuMark to transfer data across the supply chain.