The technology world is pretty obsessed with style, which is evident from Apple's smartwatch, and Google's teaming up with Levi's to create a smart jacket. These tech giants are only starting to conquer the world of fashion not just regarding design, but primarily in terms of the features that come with garments. And the fashion industry isn't immune to all of this attention either. Fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld likes to experiments with 3D pieces of clothing, and fashion shows that simulate a rocket launch. Also, Zac Posen teamed up with IBM to design a dress that changes colors based on social media activity. And you thought free dating online was so technologically advanced!
Today, we take a closer look at how fashion inspires technological developments, and what you as the consumer can expect to see in the years to come (hint: printing your own clothes!).
#1: 3D Sneakers
An item of clothing or footwear in this case that has seen the biggest revolution are definitely sneakers. Adidas has teamed up with a Silicon Valley start-up Carbon 3D to create three-dimensional sneakers on a large scale – about 100,000 pairs by the end of this year.
The idea behind having a pair of 3D running shoes is that you could walk into a store, have your feet measured, and get a fully customized pair of sneakers in less than 24 hours that are contoured to your foot perfectly and know your pressure point, giving you the greatest comfort known to man.
#2: Smart Shoelaces
If you’re sick and tired of your laces untying in the middle of a workout or as you're walking down the street, and you’ve got $720 to shed to solve this problem, Nike’s got you covered.
Inspired by Nike’s iconic Mag worn by Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) in Back to the Future II, E.A.R.L. (Electro Adaptive Reactive Lacing) is the technology behind the company’s self-lacing sneakers. Much like any new technology that hits the market, it's going to be expensive at first, but over time the idea is that it becomes available to the general public.
#3: Smart Denim Jacket
Google has teamed up with Levi’s to create gesture-controlled fabrics, and has designed a smart denim jacket that features 15 conductive threads on the left sleeve that are hardly visible and don’t interfere with the design, but noticeable enough for you to know where to touch.
A Bluetooth cuff (!) pairs the jacket to a smartphone, and by touching your left sleeve, you can swipe to play music or check the time. The price? A mere $350, but hey, talk about being fashion-forward!
#4: Smartphone Dependence – Yay or Nay?
Right now, all these techy developments in a fashion highly depend on smartphones. Notwithstanding the fact that most people are surgically attached to their phones, not that long ago all researchers headed to work with a backpack full of laptops, whereas today all they need is that little device that fits into their pocket. Forward-thinking designers aren't thrilled with such smartphone dependency because they won't be here forever, and things are moving so fast 'forever' is a very stretchy term here.
What happens when smartphones become outdated, and we're stuck with all these clothes connected to an obsolete device? If you think these are all gimmicks, wait until we all have little microchips embedded in our shirts!