Artificial intelligence is simply another way of thinking!
Over the last few years we have seen amazing progress in the field of tech, which has touched every aspect of the fashion supply chain and has also been integrated into wearable technology itself. The future is certainly here and fashion is embracing and integrating these developments in the most spectacular and exciting ways.
3D printed dresses by Danit Peleg started off as beautifully crafted garments but came with characteristics of the limited material advancements of the time. These resulted in rigid pieces, that while spectacular, were not necessarily wearable due to the stiffness of the polymers.
Fast forward just two years and we see new ‘Filaflex’ materials being used in 3D printing that allow Danit to embrace these materials and create soft, fluid, and tactile pieces that are comfortable and wearable, merging form and function together. In the near future this technology will allow us to print our own garments at home, creating a new form of made-on-demand clothing.
Photo Credit: Danit Peleg & Bon Wongwannawat
Emotionally responsive clothing innovations
In this sector we have seen advancement in responsive and transformative garments, with items of clothing that react, change and modify their outward appearances based on changes in body heat. Loomia, a company based out of New York, have been integrating technology into clothing using flexible circuits. The wearer of these pieces does not feel any change as the technology adapts to the wearers core body temperature. Bystanders around the wearer get to enjoy impressive effects and works of art that continuously evolve before them.
Such technology is not yet readily available to the public market, however with many designers developing in this sector, technology will soon morph into our common everyday lives, to the point of normalcy. Commercial and more simplistic versions of this already exist today, especially if you think back to the 90’s where mood rings had their moment, however the latest iterations of colour changing products are far more sophisticated.
4th of July 2015, Nike continued the trend of colour changing product by celebrating independence day in the most multifaceted way with the launch of their Patriotic shoe, the ‘Preserved Icons’. The shoe changed between colours when it encountered warmer temperatures giving the wearer different appearances throughout the day.
Fast forwarding to 2018, Shiftwear sneakers feature electronic displays that curve and mould to the shoes shape to showcase user-selected images, GIFs or looped animations on the go. Also in this space is Digitsole shoes, which offers auto-lacing shoes that heat themselves based on wearer settings that are controlled using an accompanying companion app. With heated textiles gaining momentum, we also saw Ralph Lauren integrating on-demand heating technology into the USA Winter Olympic team jackets this year.
Photo Credit: Ralph Lauren
We see form & function continue to merge with Fashion brands connecting bracelets, rings, watches and necklaces to Google’s smart watch operating systems. In addition brands such as Rebecca Minkoff have created a lightening cable bracelet, which adapts into a USB charger to sync and power an iPhone on the go. Perfect for tech savvy customers.
Levi’s and Google have teamed up to create the Commuter denim Jacket that controls your playlist and general phone functions through the gestures you make whilst wearing it. Created using Google’s Jacquard Thread technology to create smart clothing, each thread within the material is made using hyper-thin conductive metal alloys, which can be woven into natural and synthetic fibres and even machined washed!
Photo Credit: Google
Other versions of emotion-based apparel are seen in emoji-projecting pullovers that allow wearers to incorporate mobile phone messages into their sweaters. As fashion becomes more connected, a result of tech engaged millennial’s, we will see responsive clothing going far beyond performance and functionality.
Connected clothing is the fastest growing segment of the wearable tech sector today with technology increasingly becoming a part of us, as we are part of it.