Intelligent Clothing: the Next Revolution

intelligent clothing blog post

Fashion meets smartphone technology to create a whole new level of convenience!

Are you ready to invest in the new craze of Intelligent clothing? It’s not too late to create your own project in the fashion industry, while devices called “wearables” are just becoming popular.

Have a look at what already exist on the garment market. The top brands are already demonstrating to us their first results.

For example, Google and Levi's, united through Project Jacquard, decided to design a smart jacket integrated with a bespoke fashion mobile app. This alliance can encourage other brands of clothing and accessories to adopt technology in their garments, so you still have some time to think this over.

What is a smart jacket?

This smart garment in question incorporates wearable connectivity that works with a smartphone application. The secret of this lies in 15 conductive threads that are interwoven in the fabric and that give sensitivity to the touch .

With it, the user can perform some functions like controlling the volume of the music player, set up phone calls or receive notifications from the Google Maps app - the latter is useful, for example, when you are walking and need to orient yourself.

This first "vintage" denim jacket is, for now, only available at some US retail outlets. Its price is around 350 dollars. A figure that makes it rather exclusive.

How does this fashion mobile app work?

The sensors, Jacquard Threads, woven into the jacket’s cuff, are connected wirelessly to the mobile fashion app. There are tiny electronics within the sleeve in a snap tag, which will also alert the user of incoming calls and texts using feedback and light. This has functionalities that allow the user to stop, start music, get directions, and read incoming text messages just by swiping or tapping on the jacket’s sleeve.

Click here to the Levi’s website to find out more.

Smart clothing is not new

It is true that there have been numerous smart clothing projects incorporated with bespoke applications. Most notably Nike has recently been able to integrate a NFC chip into T-shirts to get useful information to generate statistics for NBA players. Intel, the great provider of computer components, launched Butterfly Dress, a dress with proximity sensors and optical fibers to create amazing representations if stimulated by external electrical impulses - The result, at the very least, aroused curiosity, but was most likely never worn by someone on the street.

  • Another example is found in projects initiated at the Technological Textile Institute (AITEX), which among other things has developed a new fabric for baby clothes to avoid ultraviolet radiation. It is characterized by its antimicrobial properties and its high level of protection against ultraviolet radiation.
  • And several years ago, there was a jacket with touch buttons that could interact with the iPod player.

But it seems that the textile gadget, created by two companies, Levis and Google, has greater impact because they are very well known brands, but it does not necessarily represent a breakthrough in the industry.

The future of smart clothing?


Frankly, does smart clothing make sense? Does it have a future?

The so-called "smart fashion" still has time for its commercial boom, but if more new alliances between textile and technology companies arise, it can encourage other brands in the sector to get on board.

Given its strong experimental component, the evolution of such projects will depend, in part, on the ability to address two main obstacles. One of them is the duration of battery life, the same problem as in Apple Watch or Samsung Gear. Another obstacle is the price.

It is just a matter of time before this will really catch on in the world. I believe at least that the alliance between Google and Levis will surely encourage other brands of clothing and accessories to adopt technology in their garments.

It is certainly an exciting opportunity to take advantage of while the idea is still young. It can open up many new avenues for your mobile application development project.

I hope this gives you some inspiration! If you are feeling creative, give us a shout, we would love to give you our professional opinion and discuss with your ideas of designing an app. And bear in mind, the niche of long-life battery fibre, which will be in demand by all producers, is still free.

  

 

Max Summers
October 26, 2017
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