There’s a lot of information on the internet regarding the future of wearable technology. One of the theories is that high tech clothing is going to experience rapid development, similar to the one which can be seen on the smartwatch market. That might be true — its market capitalization is not too high, which means that there’s a lot of room for growth.
There are several factors that need to be taken into account if you consider buying high tech gear. First of all, do not be surprised if a month after your purchase a more refined version of your product will be released. In this rapidly evolving market, every manufacturer is trying to be as progressive as possible — especially due to the fact that there’s no visible monopolist in this field. Secondly, prepare for a real avalanche of interesting offers. More and more clothes are subject to high tech development.
It’s worth noting that high tech gear is a relatively young and fresh market. Right now, it’s filled with small, independent and sometimes partially or entirely crowdfunded, small enterprises which bring their ideas to life on a small scale. There is no monopolist on this particular market. Because of that, the competition is quite healthy and fair.
Small manufacturers often try to seek some public attention for their work — usually in the form of crowdfunding. It’s worth checking crowdfunding sites from time to time, because young, emerging companies may be looking for financial support there. For a small amount of money, you’ll usually be able to get a preorder and even a discount on hi tech clothing. Some of the indie gear available for purchase on these sites have unique style and design, which is hard to find in the popular brands’ offers. That’s what makes them so unique — not only smart functionality, but also state-of-the-art, independent visual style.
Some might think: “isn’t this excess of technology?”, ”Do we really need things like smart socks?”. The answer is: yes and no. Of course, it’s absurd for anybody to buy vast amounts of hi tech clothing purely because of their “smartness” — the main factor should be, after all, their wearability. But at the same time, the question “Isn’t this excess of technology?” was asked during the time when the phone, radio or television was invented. It’s a question asked in good faith, but simultaneously it’s a badly phrased statement.
Smart clothes, just like all other wearable technology, are an extension of an already functioning trend. Our devices tend to be connected more and faster from year to year. Meanwhile, a smartwatch doesn’t scare or surprise anybody anymore. It’s time to finally have the same attitude towards smart clothes — they are not a technological excess in any way, but just a logical step forward towards the goal of connectivity, in which we all participate, are subject to it and benefit by it.
Facebook cannot read your heart rate. Google doesn’t know much about your blood pressure. By using technologically advanced clothes, you agree to give up even more information about yourself to certain developers. For your own personal data safety, always check the terms and conditions of any apps that handle them: it’s wise to know how it’s stored and used.
Would you believe that there are more than 25 000 000 000 devices connected to the internet right now? It’s almost 3.5 times more than the whole world’s population. This state, although it sounds a little futuristic, is called the Internet of Things. The term IoT was coined more than 20 years ago, and it took a lot of time for it to come true. IoT is our reality. It consists of various smart devices (lighting bulbs, fridges, fans and other everyday objects) as well as wearables — smart glasses, watches, bands and (last but not least) smart clothes. They’re soon going to become a very important part of the whole IoT market — smartwatches and bands are monopolized and popularized already.
They’re probably shoes, shirts and jackets — let’s explore them in more detail.
There are two basic types of this kind of product — popular consumer-type and medical ones. The latter are usually the most advanced high tech clothing possible, providing the wearer with precise heart rate (ECG, HRV and other electrocardiograph readings) and blood pressure readings along with gathering data about your sleep. Popular hi tech shirts on the other hand, are mostly focusing on more general vital functions, especially during workouts. It’s a universal solution which will come in handy almost for anybody.
Of all the smart clothes, the jackets are usually the most advanced. They generate heat via special pads powered by large-capacity batteries, charge your smartphone (by wire or sometimes even wirelessly), help you with finding it and prevent you from losing it. At the same time, they can function as a simple Bluetooth remote for your computer, tablet or phone (very simplistic play-pause-skip set of functions). Don’t forget that the heating option is controlled by your smartphone via Bluetooth!
It’s quite a popular choice among joggers, runners and many other sports fans. It’s obvious that many of them wish to gather physical activity data on their phones. It’s easier to count calories, measure efficiency and plan further workouts with that kind of information in hand. Fortunately, all this now can be done with smart shoes — the presence of a smartphone is not immediately required. They can gather all the necessary data without it, and transfer it via Bluetooth after the workout is finished.
It appears that tech apparel is a popular choice among young people, who grow up with advanced types of technology around them. High technology is an imminent part of their life, and they have no problems with any of its incarnations. After all, high tech clothing is produced to make our lives easier — it’s worth giving it a try, even if you’re not a tech geek. You’ll probably find many of its features quite refreshing and inventive.