Fashion is evolving, and new technology innovations are being introduced every year. They’re leveraging AI and advanced technologies to create memorable customer experiences. From smart clothing to AI-enabled choice, customers have a wide range of innovations to choose from. This has made the fashion industry that much more competitive, with more attention being given to companies that stand-out.
Anouk Wipprecht, she creates technological couture; with systems around the body that tend towards artificial intelligence; projected as 'host' systems on the human body, her designs move, breath, and react to the environment around them.
CuteCircuit introduced the first of its kind, The Sound Shirt – a haptic wearable device that allows deaf audience members to experience a symphony orchestra.
Intexar™ transforms ordinary fabrics into active, connected, intelligent garments that enable critical biometric data collection including heart rate, breathing rate, form awareness and muscle tension. The Intexar™ product line includes a set of unique, compatible, and stretchable inks and films that enable comfortable, durable and washable smart garments. Intexar™ offers superior stretch and comfort and is easily integrated into garments to make smart clothing.
Myant created functional fibers with embedded biometric electrodes and actuators (heat, cooling and electric stimulus).
Google and Levi’s launched a new format of smart jackets that could communicate directly with your smartphones. Using smart gestures and pre-set modes, wearers could interact with their phones without removing it from their pockets. Additionally, wearers could also get directions to their destination and answer calls on the go.
How does the technology work behind smart fabrics?
Using semi-conductor threads and touch-sensitive textile additions, companies can create these remarkable feats of innovation. They can design fabrics of all kinds to become responsive and interconnected with other technology.
Owing to the rise in IoT devices, we’re also seeing greater demand for smart apparel. Jackets that can talk, shoes that can teach us stride mechanics and smart bands that analyze sweat – are just some of the innovations that are in development. The technology leverages low-energy Bluetooth as well, creating more interconnectivity within the system.
Challenges with utilization (ideas, mechanics and use-cases)
Outside of the brand integrations and one-off experiments, the large-scale adoption of smart fashion is yet to be seen. While many industries are creating B2B integrations, B2C space is still open for disruption. We’re seeing innovation from crowdfunding platforms and experimental fashion, but no single trends have yet emerged.
The fashion industry needs to take up the challenge of utilization and think of out-of-the-box solutions to everyday problems. Fashion can help alleviate the critical issues behind much of the consumer pain-points these days. Fashion can also create innovation in the space of wearables, combining various tech solutions into one integrated apparel.
In other words, instead of monitoring your wearables individually, you can have them synced up to one smart jacket or band. The fashion industry is breaking through challenges with smart utilization of technologies.
Market demand and positioning
It’s important for brands to create solutions for problems that exist out there. Many projects have failed owing to poor consumer demand, especially in the “connected-everywhere” space. Taking a look at Under Armour’s athletic recovery sleepwear is a perfect example of market demand and proper positioning. The brand is reaching out to athletes around the world with a connected apparel solution that has an instant value-add.
Ralph Lauren extended its positioning strategy by introducing self-heating jackets earlier in 2018. Using advanced conductivity, the jacket is able to keep the consumer warm while making them look stylish. This helps brands extend their story to the greater audiences and creates a long-term demand for digital fashion.
Digital fashion for aesthetics
A burgeoning space for digital fashion to experiment is in the aesthetic domain. Fashion designers from around the world are creating unique apparel pieces that connect the physical and digital realm. This has opened up space for many designers to introduce unique pieces integrating smartphones and connected devices in the fabric.
Designer Julianna Bass debuted a new line of smart apparel that could change color on command. Working with the tech firm LOOMIA, allowed Julianna to create memorable fashion-wear. Those present could also change the color of the dress live.
“This is a proof of concept that allows for a high accuracy textile color change and is a glimpse into the future of how elegant technology integrations can create magical experiences that exalt a designer’s vision,” - Janett Liriano, CEO of LOOMIA.