Wearable Tech – A Smart Clothing Revolution
Imagine a world where, by pressing a few buttons, you can create a custom outfit for the day. You wake up and turn on your tablet, and the first thing you do is check the weather. It’s mid November and quite mild, so your tablet gives you a few options for fall looks pulled from style sites on the web. You decide on a green dress, but think it may be a bit short on you so you add 3 cm to the bottom. Ten minutes later, the exact dress is in your hands and ready to wear, thanks to the 3D printer you bought last month. Is this a possibility? Thanks to wearable tech, it could be soon.
Wearable tech is the biggest development for the fashion industry this century, and will completely change how clothes are made and worn. The first developments of wearable tech come in the form of smart accessories. These have manifested themselves in the form of watches, bracelets, rings, and necklaces. These devices are connected to our smartphones at all times, transmitting information from our bodies to our phones. The development of smart accessories is happening fast. The gadgets are becoming more streamlined, discreet, and advanced. Mondaine’s first Smart Watch, for example, could be easily mistaken for a regular analog watch. Mira fitness tracking bracelets look like regular (and stylish) jewelry, but can measure your heart rate and even give you motivational messages throughout the day.
So what will come after smart accessories in the field of wearable tech? Check out what major sporting goods companies are creating in collaboration with pro athletes. Adidas, for example, inserts micro sensors into jerseys to monitor athletic performance. These sensors don’t interfere with the athletes’ activity, but are able to measure heartbeat and respiration. It won’t be long before we can go to the store and buy our own wearable tech workout gear!
The buzzy Cicret bracelet is a truly astounding piece of wearable tech launched in October 2014, able to project a smartphone display onto one’s forearm. Amazingly, this is an interactive display and allows you to scroll through e-mails, answer calls and google search, even in non-phone friendly environments like the shower. Cicret bracelet is not yet being mass-produced, but the company promises that the bracelet will be available once enough money is raised through crowd funding.
A memorable haute couture digital dress (Twitter dress) changed the way fashionistas look at wearable tech. The dress wore by Diane Von Furstenberg at NY fashion week in 2012 was created from eight meters of French silk chiffon with 500 Swarowsky crystals and cc 2000 LED lights. The lights showed Tweets from funs in real time and looked futuristic.
The next step in wearable tech is to create items that are a living piece of technology. Project Jacquard, led by Google, aims to create fabrics that incorporate wire threads. These threads won’t be damaged by normal wear and tear, and will be able to read and interpret gestures and movements. You may be able to answer your phone simply by touching the sleeve of your t-shirt. Levi’s is also working on some exciting wearable tech developments, but haven’t yet announced the details.
Nowadays, anyone can design and 3D print a dress, or anything else for that matter. Having a 3D printer at your home has become affordable, and technology will only get better and less expensive in years to come. All in all, wearable tech needs fashion to survive, geeky-look is not hot.