Wearable Hi-Tech: Smart Clothing

Until genetics and nanorobotics offers us a reliable solution for our bodies to protect us from the elements, communicate relevant information about our environment, and provide status reports on our metabolism, we’ll have to settle for the next best thing, and that is smart clothing.

The number of market analysts believes that the next big thing among the consumers will not be smart watches and similar wearable gadgets, but the hi-tech clothing. Predictions are that in 2016 sales of clothing with built-in sensors that will monitor your heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, and similar data will exceed the sales of fitness bracelets, clip-on sensors and wristbands. So far such clothing has been developed by sports companies and was primarily hightech_mp3jacket intended for athletes, but in recent years companies that are not specialized in sportswear have been increasingly trying to approach wider audience.

As technology advances with great strides, it is certain that we can expect new innovations in the market of smart clothing and wearable technology, and soon most of the T-shirts that we wear could have built-in sensors to monitor variety of our bodily functions and give us indications on pre-set requirements.

Cityzen Sciences ‘ D-Shirt is a perfect example of how this works. D-shirt is made of fabric containing sensors which monitor the general health condition of the wearer, like body temperature, respiration, pulse, movement and exact location. Collected data can be transferred to your phone or a smart watch in real time. In addition to athletes and recreationists, such clothing could be recommendable for people working in extreme environments, such as firefighters, soldiers, medical professionals, and so on.

Previously we have witnessed many witty inventions in hi-tech clothing like a T-shirt designed by Nien Liam and Sue Ngo which can detect and communicate levels of pollution in the environment, or a dress invented by a chemist Tony Ryan and a designer Helen Storey that can counter the negative effects of pollution. It does so by catalyzing the effects of dangerous chemical compounds with the help of titanium dioxide.

Wearable technology could serve us to share some data over the clothes, which will be fitted with different sensors, emitters and receivers, even processors. Something similar has already been invented by Ryan Gentz and Francesca Rosella. Their shirt registers body temperature and the heart rate and through mobile application sends a romantic sensation of touch and heat to a remote partner or a friend. Even if the receiver does not have the same ‘Hug Shirt “, he/she will at least get a wink on their mobile phone.

Designer Tina Beez integrates nanotechnology in her creations, so that her garments can adjust the temperature, enhance weatherproofing and wind protection, or improve your circulation.

In 2015, LikeAGIglove will make your online clothes purchases fit you perfectly. It will take your exact measurements and send data to online stores, alleviating your frustrations about sizing when shopping for clothes over the internet.

Your clothes will even be able to change color depending on the environment. Designer Lauren Bowker uses special ink for his designs that can detect changes in the environment and switch colors accordingly. Excellent idea for parties and other non-formal events, not to mention the potential for military use!

Once we get used to wear smart clothing, designers and inventors will be granted to unleash their creative power even more and completely reinvent our clothing. Eventually we will be offered the possibility to customize every single piece of clothing to fit our needs.