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Fashion. On the one hand, it is a familiar word with a direct meaning – the latest style of clothing. On the other hand, behind this title hides a whole universe. Fashion has always been a reflection of the historical period. Whether military uniforms or ball gowns, clothes serve various socio-cultural purposes. Thousands of different trends, many Pantone colors, extraordinary styles and unique prints – it is even difficult to mention all the transformations that fashion has undergone since ancient times.

The modern world also brings something new to 21st century fashion. In the age of global digitalization, innovative technologies affect all aspects of human existence, so fashion is no exception. With the advent of Virtual Reality, Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things, clothes have taken on a whole new meaning. Sounds impressive, right? So if you are interested in the future of smart clothing, read on and let’s explore this exciting topic together.

When did the discussion about smart clothing start?

Until the middle of the 20th century, clothing had two main purposes: to cover our bodies and to visually distinguish us from each other. However, in 1966, things changed dramatically due to Steve Mann’s study “Intelligent Clothing”: Wearing Multimedia Computers and “Personal Images” to Restore Technological Balance between People and Their Environments “.

In this research, the author introduces the concept of intelligent clothing: “Intelligent clothing is a step towards true personal calculation and improved awareness of the situation, with little (or perhaps no) reliance on a centralized infrastructure.”

As you can see from this quote, Mann had described this interesting technology long before it turned into reality. However, his ideas seem outdated to contemporary readers as technologies evolved faster than he could have predicted. Therefore, let’s take a more modern approach oriented to this topic and examine it through the lenses of fashion innovations like VR, AI and IoT.

1. VR-enabled smart clothes eliminate the boundary between the real world and the artificial one

Exchange of information

Is it possible to unite the real world with the virtual one in a completely new dimension? From a scientific point of view, it is impossible (at the moment). However, smart outfits combined with VR developments can make you feel like they are real. Just imagine that a VR headset will be able to send information of a person’s heart rate and temperature within the virtual world to embedded activators on clothes. Thanks to sensory feedback, this haptic technology will enable users to submit to their virtual experiences through real-life emotions.

Gyroscope and accelerometer

These sensors capture user movement in real life. With this motion capture technology, it will be possible to direct the avatar into the artificial world.

2. Clothes with AI improve sports performance and make our lives easier

Sportswear with artificial intelligence

Although worn-out devices like watches and fitness trackers that measure a user’s vital signs are already used in the sports industry, smart clothing can offer even more than that. For example, Sensoria offers a wide range of smart clothing for many activities, including t-shirts, socks and mattresses. Due to trainers in AI-based applications embedded in Sensoria clothes, users can significantly enhance their running performance. After all, detailed analytics performed on AI-generated data and AI-generated smart guides not only help users track their efficiency, but also save their time spent on performance appraisal.

Check the news, weather and maps with one gesture

Created for movement, optimized for the city. We updated our iconic Trucker jacket, integrating thought-out design details for active use in the modern city. 150 years of innovation Levi’s® jeans meet with Google engineering to create this innovative, Jacquard ™ woven yarn. The Levi’s® Commuter ha truck jacket connects to your mobile device via Bluetooth. With a tap or cuff brush, you can control music, display calls, or get directions. Some simple gestures keep you on course, in touch and connected. A classic for decades, re-invented for today.

3. IoT in smart gear

An effective way to prevent sudden infant death syndrome

Disorder of sudden infant death is considered the bad dream of the parents. As a result, its causes remain unclear. Most, if not all, parents get up at night to control the newborn’s breathing, including their fatigue and difficulty at rest. Fortunately, a shirt made of IoT fabric can solve this problem. Unlike simple baby monitors, IoT-enabled clothing monitors the baby’s breathing and warns parents when breathing is abnormal or obstructed. For example, a New York-based startup, Nanny, has created such a device for modern babies to enable parents to sleep better. According to Nanit’s statistics, “94% of parents say they sleep better with Nanit”.

A new level of communication

Although IoT-enabled smart clothing is usually associated with tying clothes to the user’s body, such innovative wearable devices can also communicate with the immediate environment. Thanks to integrated transmitters, smart clothes can be recognized and contacted individually. Let’s describe a representative example to illustrate this possibility: just imagine that basketball game visitors can use their t-shirts to buy tickets or pre-order VIP seats and drinks.

What is the future of smart clothing?

There is no doubt that smart clothing is an incredible innovation that has just entered the early stages of development. However, as VR, IoT and AI evolve rapidly, smart clothing also has a promising future. While today it is perceived as something that is far from reality, it will soon become an attribute of every standard user.

Story by Alina Kutsa