There is no end to tech…all the bad and all the good.
Same applies to what we put on our bodies with the hopes of improving something, anything.
Thus, the invention of “smart wearables”. Although not new, smart wearables are certainly making their mark and will only become increasingly more popular in the future.
In 2018, Gartner predicted smart clothing would be one of the fastest growing segments of the wearable devices industry, and shipments would potentially increase from over 4 million (shipped) in 2017 to over 19 million in 2022.
Coming from a girl who doesn’t own a Fitbit or even wear a watch when running most of the time (ah, the freedom!), I find the potential entirely believable (for positive and not so positive reasons…another story for another time).
Some of the neat options out there now:
UK-based Pireta (https://www.pireta.co.uk/) has a fiber-level process whereby conductive patterns are added directly to the fabric reportedly without affecting textile performance.
Dupont, one of the biggest names in materials development, claims a flexible design that doesn’t disrupt the manufacturing process, through Intexar (http://electronicmaterials.dupont.com/intexar).
Clothing becomes smart, just like that!
Then again, you don’t have to be so high tech to be high tech. Take the case of Bolt Threads (https://boltthreads.com/) in Emeryville, CA. Bolt uses mycelium cells from mushrooms and silk proteins (similar to that which spiders make) to create awesome materials used by some companies such as Adidas and Stella McCartney. High tech in development, yes. But, essentially reverting to knowns that are simplified and sustainable.
In the end, we say just keep an eye out for all that’s to come. The options are endless. We, here, will certainly be looking at the future of fabrics…we really wouldn’t be doing our jobs if we didn’t.
Now, be smart and get out outside!