Smart clothing is demonstrating that fashion can be oh so functional. Wearable tech innovations are taking over our bodies - no longer are devices confined to wrists and faces. Specifically, there are emerging threads blending style and display technologies without a glitch. These high-tech coats make the average hoodie look rather dumb. Some of the latest smart jackets can light up and vibrate based on a wearer's location, disposition and even chocolate intake.
For The Urban Wayfarers
The Navigate Jacket from Wearable Experiments is an appropriate attire for the geographically impaired. The Navigate Jacket uses integrated LED lighting and haptic feedback to help wearer's find their destination. The jacket has an associated app that stores relevant destinations and uploads the directions to the garment. The lights built into the sleeves indicate distance until the next turn as well as the current stage of the trip. Vibrations ready the user when to turn and in which direction. As Wearable Experiments notes, "the Navigate Jacket takes urban wayfinding to a new level allowing users to explore completely hands free." Gone are the days where seas of people are tied to their smartphone screens in order to navigate from point A to point B.
For The Chocolate Addicts
Creative technology consultancy Hirsch & Mann collaborated with PR company Golin Harris to design garb that thinks outside the chocolate box. These Cadbury Joy Jackets are designed to offer chocolate connoisseurs an interactive eating experience. "The intention was to amplify the joy experienced by a person as they enjoyed two different (and awesome) flavours of Cadbury chocolates," Hirsch & Mann states. The jackets are equipped with Raspberry Pi controllers that spark a whimsical response when wearers sink their teeth into a bar of chocolate. When activated, LED lights mimic an elated heartbeat on the chest, jubilant music plays from hidden speakers, an inflatable peacock-like structure pops up in the back, and finally, a burst of confetti. While these smart jackets are more wearable festivities than functional fashion garment, they are trailblazing nonetheless.
For Emotional Chameleons
Wear your emotions on your "sleeve" with the GER mood sweater. This article of smart clothing is the brainchild of Sensoree, a design research company promoting extimacy, or externalized intimacy, through wearable technology and interactive installations. This smart sweater illuminates around the neck using LED lights. The varying colors are reflective of the wearer's emotions (i.e. purple means excited, red means in love, yellow means blissful). These feelings are determined by Galvanic Extimacy Responder sensors located in the user's hands that read excitement levels and send signals to the garment.
The rising overlap of fashion and technology is leading to a world where people will be donning wearable tech from head to toe. Are the average hoodies the flip phones of the future? If clothing keeps getting smarter while also appealing to the likes of stylites, it's possible.