Wearable Technology: Clothes That Change Colors, Record Your Fitness Routine, and more.

(Source: TwentyFour15 Fall 2017 Collection)

As wireless connectivity continues to spread, we are witnessing a huge shift towards Internet of Things (IoT) utilization: the idea that “anything that can be connected, will be connected.” [1] Embracing IoT brings vitality to physical things via digital experiences, and fosters a new interaction paradigm in which users can connect with physical things directly and meaningfully. IoT technologies add existing functionalities to any physical product or space; it opens the door to boundless opportunities for innovative product designs and new methods of communication between “people-people, people-things, and things-things.” [2]

Businesses ahead of the IoT curve have already started implementing the technology into their products. One particular industry that has taken note of IoT, intertwining it into the fabric of its business, is the fashion industry. In order to stand out and stay relevant amongst the myriad of apparel brands in the marketplace, the following are just a few of the companies employing IoT in their products.

Jacquard by Google and Levi’s® Collaboration

Levi’s® Commuter™ Trucker jacket (Source: https://atap.google.com/jacquard/)

Powered by Jacquard by Google, Levi’s® Commuter™ Trucker Jacket is taking wearable technology to the next level. Seamlessly fusing the user’s digital life with the product experience, the IoT technology is directly woven into the sleeve of the jacket. The jacket allows users to connect their mobile device to it, eliminating the need to navigate a phone screen. Instead, users simply swipe their hand against the jacket sleeve to receive information from incoming calls and messages, and navigation and music apps. With the Jacquard’s mobile app, the jacket capabilities can be adjusted to the user’s likings. [4] The jacket revolutionizes the ways in which the user interacts and communicates with the physical product; “with a literal brush of your cuff, you can navigate your life while living it.” [3]


(Source: TwentyFour15 Fall 2017 Collection)

During London Fashion Week in September 2017, fashion and technology hybrid brand TwentyFour15 launched their new streetwear collection with tailored RFID (Radio Frequency IDentification) tags. [5] Benjamin Males, CEO of TwentyFour15, explains that modern-day people are “not technologically insecure — they’ve grown up in a world with ubiquitous Internet and smart devices; they have this tech in their DNA.” [6] TwentyFour15 is reshaping its product design to cater to a youth-focused audience, taking a fresh approach to adding a sense of emotional connectivity to wearable tech. The collection, which will be available to the public in early 2018, allows the wearer to change the color of the fashion item and animate it to music via smartphone devices.


(Source: DYNE)

Enabling each garment in its seasonal collections with NFC (Near Field Communication) is an essential aspect of branding for DYNE, a men’s luxury athletic apparel. Christopher Bevans, the mastermind behind the DYNE fashion brand, explains that “as we depend more on our mobile devices, apparel is becoming more intuitive and reactive to our lifestyle.” [7] Given the garments’ embedment, the user is able to connect to the clothing via mobile device and access unique digital experiences. For DYNE, the integration of NFC into its apparel has meant the ability to educate their customers on apparel fabric and features, improve brand-customer communication through digital channels, and provide sales associates with a more competitive product.

Under Armour Gemini 3 RE smart shoes

(Source: UnderArmor)

Under Armour integrated fitness tracker technology into the soles of its Gemini 3 RE smart shoes. The shoes utilize “an accelerometer to record running metrics and Bluetooth connectivity that saves it all to an app afterward.” [8] Featured with record-equipped technology, Under Armor’s Gemini 3 smart shoes can track, analyze, and store the user’s specific running data. The stored data allows the user to maximize the workout routine with a customized pre-run jump and warm up routine like a personal fitness trainer.

IoT has the power to completely redesign how humans interact with everyday objects. The above brands have realized it. It’s just a matter of time before everyone sees it too.

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