5 Big Fashion + Communication Trends from SWSW

By Orion Labs

Every year at SXSW in Austin, Texas, companies from around the world debut their newest products and experts share their thoughts on new trends in technology. This year, there was also no shortage of exciting, new things from some of the best minds in fashion and communications. In case you missed it, we put together our top five moments in fashion and communications from SXSW.

1. Smart Fashion. At the Beyond Wearables: Future Fabrics and Fashion Design panel, a group of experts discussed the future of wearable accessories and smart clothing. In the coming years, they predicted that technology will become invisible as smart fabrics and embedded sensors become more commonplace. Potential applications — temperature-sensing clothing, GPS-enabled jackets — promise to shift peoples’ focus from their smartphones back to the world around them.

Photo: Lotus Carroll

2. Wearable Drones. Nixie, a wearable drone-camera hybrid announced last fall, will be released soon, but according to Adam Pruden, it’s just the beginning. At SXSW, he shared several ideas for future applications of wearable drone technology from UV protection that doubles as a belt buckle to pollution-filtering covers that can be incorporated into an outfit. When will they hit the market? He suggests that they will be a regular staple by 2030.

3. Senior Tech. After years of focusing on young adults, tech is starting to pay attention to seniors. The UnaliWear Kanega smartwatch uses voice technology to remind seniors to take medication and can also detect falls and location. The smartwatch looks like a standard watch, but does not have buttons or need to be paired with a cell phone or home monitoring system. The company aims to give seniors more independence.

4. Athletic Innovations. ShotTracker and Free Wavs, both nominees for the SXSW 2015 Interactive Innovation Awards, made it clear that the tech world is still hungry for fitness trackers. ShotTracker allows basketball players to track their stats, while Free Wavs combines the functionality of headphones, fitness tracker and heart rate into a wireless headset.

5. Bringing it Back to Voice. For this year’s Innovation in Connecting People award category at SXSW, voice took center stage. With voice communication technologies VocaliD, UNI by MotionSavvy and Talkitt and mobile streaming service Stream all nominated in the category, voice-related technologies comprised 80% of the category’s nominees. It’s clear that the resurgence of voice communication is going strong.

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