Smart Apparel: Clothes are the New Smartwatch

In today’s society, wearable technology, like Fitbits and Apple Watches, has evolved to become the norm – but what about wearing clothes with smart capabilities?

Have you ever thought your clothing could correct your posture? We:eX’s Nadi X yoga tights use haptic vibrations, within the fabric to communicate with the wearer’s body. For those who don't know, haptic technology is the sense of touch as a method of interacting with computers and electronic devices (Dictionary.com). The user simply selects a yoga pose within the app, which then communicates with the tights and helps correct the wearer's position achieving optimal alignment.

While some of these technologies are beneficial for personal health and fitness, others use sensory technology to feel another person’s reality. Another development by We:eX is the football Fan Jersey. Again, using haptic feedback, the jersey allows sports enthusiasts to feel player's' excitement and feelings during in-game situations such as interceptions, touchdowns and fumbles.

Google ATAP is behind Project Jacquard, which takes everyday objects such as clothes and furniture and transforms them into interactive surfaces. Jacquard’s technology lies in the yarn structure, combining metallic alloys with other fibers, including cotton. With this technology, wearers can be guided to their destination, alternate music and answer phone calls, while still appearing sleek and fashionable.

While companies continue to work on developing clothing with high tech features, some smart cotton items are already in-market.

In June 2016, Junya Watanabe Comme des Garcons launched a 100% cotton solar-powered trench coat that charges mobile devices. While not available online, the jacket is available at luxury retailers like Dover Street Market in New York.

The California-based Faces Apparel has adapted 37.5 Fiber Technology® in their cotton-rich Ultimate Collection. This technology helps the body by acting as a personal climate control system. It captures and releases moisture vapor to maintain the wearer’s relative optimum humidity and core temperature, enhancing performance and increasing comfort. The technology is naturally embedded into the fabric, so there’s no worry about it wearing out.

As these technologies develop, it will be interesting to see all of the ways smart apparel continues to grow and enhance our future.

This article was adapted from the Cotton Incorporated Lifestyle Monitor.

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