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The Internet of Things runs on one core principle- everything that can be connected must be connected. While the ethical concerns of such tech innovation are hotly debatable, let us shift our focus to the practical considerations and use of technology in wearable fashion.
Back in 2015, when wearable clothing made an appearance on the scene, it didn’t quite take off. This can be partly attributed to peoples’ reservation about letting their sweater function as an alarm, or a jacket be their visiting card. However, brands and corporations alike have understood the need for sophistication. The options available today are literally no joke.
Here are five wearable tech trends that we see growing by the minute.
- Smartwatches: They’re here, and they’re on everyone’s wrist. Several consumers report that owning a fitness band makes them more likely to work out. Our brains are driven by a rewards system and we cannot help but rejoice when our activity band buzzes with excitement every time we get in those 10,000 steps. Also, they’re excellent for telling time.
Evolved forms of smartwatches can be designed to work as SOS signals, to conduct group workouts even remotely and so much more! FitBit’s recent update now makes the band work as a period tracker, and it is only a matter of time before the Apple Watch becomes a quick interface for payments across the globe. What do smartwatches offer? Comfort, cool-nerdiness and a whole lot of style.
- Shirts and outerwear: Nostalgia gets a new upgrade, with Levi’s iconic trucker jacket, revamped. The Commuter X jacket designed in partnership with Google connects to the phone via Bluetooth and can be used for everything from controlling music to getting directions while you drive.
Practicality cannot be left far behind. The jacket is machine washable once the snap device that is the actual wearable tech component is removed from it with an easy, you guessed it, snap.
The Athos Core series of workout shirts are a nifty, more data-intense replacement for smartwatches. For example, most good smartwatches today cannot be taken into swimming pools, but that’s not the case with apparel. They do cost upward of $350, which may be a sensitive consideration since people usually need more than one pair of workout apparel.
- Pants: When the shirts can be smart, why should the pants be left far behind? That’s probably the theory behind the Nadi X Yoga pants. These pants are a personal yoga trainer, offering happy inputs for when you need to stretch out each muscle, and they can even prompt you to hold a pose for a given period.
We love these pants because as opposed to the usual monitor devices that collect more than they give out, these pants can be used in real time to train better. Thus, the benefits are obvious and instantaneous.
- Shoes: Under Armour’s connected sneakers are not just monitoring devices. They can help you correct your gait and prevent running injuries caused by the wrong posture. Much like the yoga pants, we love that they offer support in the moment. Studies show that our likelihood of indulging in physical activity is far higher when we have company- one reason why music works. Wearables like these can help take that idea to the next level.
Closer home in India, a product by the name of LeChal is able to offer GPS navigation in a shoe. While we’re certainly not looking to a future where we turn left while our shoe stubbornly goes right, the mild haptic feedback offered by LeChal is able to help us navigate while we actually look away from our phones, and at the roads.
- Fashion that changes colors: With the Gen Zers on the scene and a growing crowd of people born into technology, brands like TwentyFour15 are counting on them to make their wearable dreams a reality. At the 2017 London Fashion Week, they debuted a collection that changes colors at the click of a button and even animates to music! No more buying clothes for all those themed weddings and parties over and over again.
The multi-faceted use of such technology can turn people into walking billboards if that’s what the Gods of advertising so desire. In any case, we are looking forward to seeing clothes that perform tricks, even though we’re still quite fond of our reversible-sequined outfits to create the same magic.
Which wearable tech trend do you think is useful, futuristic, or even plain outrageous? Tell us in the comments below.
Supriya Ghurye is the founder and owner of Fuel4Fashion. She is a Freelance Fashion Designer and Brand Consultant helping fashion brands to create great products from idea to launch. Fuel4Fashion social links: Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram