Smart Fashion might be still something that’s still developing but smart fashion clothing, not watches, are going to be the future of wearables. Of course, smart clothing has actually been around for a couple of years now even though the wearable tech market is more associated with fitness-obsessed products for working out.
Rather than wearable technology attached to our wrists, it needs to be part of our clothes that we wear every day as part of our lives. It is therefore likely that the wearable tech of the not too distant future, will not be about smartwatches or wristbands but the clothes that we wear on a daily basis, and the idea of smart clothing is that it’s really only the wearable medium we have already been wearing our whole lives.
Another use for Smart Fashion Clothing could possibly be for wellbeing or a form of self-management that can be used as a way to measure, monitor and manage stress. There is definitely some potential for smart garments to be used this way. Stress could possibly be measured both consciously and unconsciously, and this would have the ability to make you aware of your personal stress or make you aware of any potential patterns of your stress. There are many causes of stress such as financial stress, study, family/friends/partners stress issues, coping with everyday life, and then there are some of us lucky enough not to have any stress in our lives. There are also behavioral and emotional effects of stress that can affect our lives such as a change in sleep patterns, negative thoughts, feeling anxious, loss of self-esteem. It would be useful to wear smart garments as a way to measure, monitor and manage stress, such as a smart hoody or jacket.
Incorporating smart tech into your clothes to let you know how stressed you are could be done in a number of ways. Haptic technology or Haptic feedback is one way, and this concerns the application of forces, vibrations, gestures, that is used the recreate the sense of touch with a given piece of technology. This was discussed in an earlier blog entitled Fashion for the Digital Age specifically Google with their conductive fabrics or smart fabrics that are embedded into Levi’s smart jacket using Project Jacquard.
Alternatively, other ways of incorporating this technology could be the use of single or multiple LED light, a combination of light, sound, and vibration, for your clothes to let you know how stressed you are and that can be indicated on the smart garment. Any data on your stress could be collected in ways preferred by the user, such as private or where this data or information could be made available to a trusted person, such as a family member or friend. However, it would be more beneficial if the smart garment that you wear only requires little or some effort to support your wellbeing or stress management, and that overall the smart garment would enable you to be more proactive in the monitoring of your mental wellbeing.
Using a smart garment this way would just be an alternative way of managing your mental wellbeing as opposed to web information or counseling, and perhaps the use of a smart garment of this nature would help give you a greater understanding of patterns of your mental wellbeing or personal mental health. This data would be supported or displayed to the user through the use of a mobile application or app and as to how you could connect to the app could be squeezing or touching the sleeve of your smart garment, gesturing over or touching your wrist or arm or some other way.
The positives of smart clothing are that they are more customizable than other wearable techs, and the tech could be incorporated more easily into many types of clothing, with different styles and colors. Perhaps its only a matter of time before wearing smart fashion clothing becomes the norm and we will wonder why we would even buy a piece of clothing if it isn’t smart.