Modern technologies increasingly capture the world and our life. The trend of today is the simplification of people’s lives. One of the directions of this work is the development of smart clothes.
Wearable technology or “smart clothes” are clothes that can interact with the environment and the human body, process information and transfer it to another device (for example, a smartphone). The simplest and best-known wearable gadget is a fitness bracelet. Many can no longer do without them in everyday life. But scientists do not stop and continue to introduce technology into our lives. Of course, not all of the described below already exists in mass use. But looking at the speed of technology development, no one would not be surprising if in six months or a year, such items will be ordinary objects of everyday use.
Gloves with a special coating to control the touch screen is far from a novelty, but what can you say about gloves with an integrated Bluetooth-headset? Such, for example, produces Italian Hi-Fun. In the Hi-Call cuff is integrated with the battery control unit and the speaker and microphone are displayed on the tips of the thumb and little finger. It looks impressive, and most importantly it is comfortable in cold weather, especially when doing sports.
Designer Hadil Ayab created gloves that can translate the language of deaf-mute people. Gloves are equipped with sensors that respond to finger movements and transfer information to the screen. Such gloves will destroy the barrier in communication.
Another development is also associated with gloves. They were created by Michel Hua. The leather accessory is able to regulate the warmth of the hands. Thanks to biosensors, gloves can add heat so that their hands do not freeze.
If the BT-headset with gloves is not an obvious solution, then the idea to combine a hat and a wireless headset begs by itself. Specialists of Dress Cote managed to hit the target accurately, neatly disguising the usual stuff in the musical element. Hat Hatsonic – a true dream of fans of winter sports and long walks, tired of discomfort when wearing conventional headphones under the hat.
On the technical side there is a pair of open speakers with external control keys, communication with a smartphone via Bluetooth 3.0 and a battery for 100 mAh, which is enough for 6-8 hours of listening to music. The accessory adequately copes with all its duties and can become an indispensable attribute in winter sports.
For those who are waiting for the coming of the summer and want to remain at the peak of high-tech at any time of the year, the same Italian Hi-Fun offers a BT-baseball cap, which is called hi-cap. In the cap is built-in BT-headset, which allows its owner to quietly listen to music and talk on the phone. The control buttons are located on the side along the bottom edge of the cap. For charging the usual mini-USB port is used. If necessary, the headset can be removed – for example, to wash the baseball cap.
The idea of giving small items to useful functions is undoubtedly promising. Next in line are smart socks. It seems that socks and high technologies are incompatible things. But the Swiss company Blacksocks has found a way to combine one with another: it equips one of its product lines with RFID tags that make it easy to find a lost sock. The tags are like tiny buttons and are almost invisible when worn. In addition, using the control panel, you can determine the date of manufacture of socks and the number of washings that they have undergone. A special application allows you to synchronize socks with your iPhone.
Another version of smart socks offers Sensoria. Products are focused primarily on athletes and equipped with inconspicuous load-sharing sensors on the foot. The special device is attached to the shins and analyzes the data from the sensors, allowing the wearer to use the company’s application to track information on training, running techniques and the position of the foot. The app also can advise how to adjust the technique to get more comfort from playing sports and achieve new results.
The sports industry is a pioneer in the use of smart clothes, so it is logical that there are many developments. Sports tops, shirts and t-shirts is not a complete list of what can be found on-line the shelves and try for yourself. For example, in the assortment of the same Sensoria, in addition to clever socks, there is smart clothing with a special heart rate monitor that collects training data and synchronizes with the application on the smartphone. The device is easily removed, according to the manufacturer, works for about eight months on the charge of one battery and is compatible with many popular fitness applications (Sensoria Fitness, Strava, Runtastic, MapMyRun, Endomondo, Runkeeper, PolarBeat, RunMeter).
OmSignal also actively participates in the development of smart sportswear, emphasizing the convenience and comfort of manufactured sconces. Advanced elastic materials, a wide size grid and an abundance of bright colors look very attractive, and a heart rate monitor with a proprietary application for smartphones allows you to flexibly adjust the nature of training. Sconces in four sizes and colors are available on the company’s official website.
Famous sports brands also did not stay aloof. The Adidas miCoach project is now going through a stage of integration with the popular Runtastic service, and the functional heart rate monitor (Adidas miCoach Heart Rate Monitor) is sold with a complete chest strap.
The classical scheme of a tight-fitting sports T-shirt and hinged cardio monitor has received the expected popularity with many manufacturers. For example, a Nexx HRM-02 chest strap can be attached to the CB Sport T-shirt, which is fixed on special mounts in the right area at the solar plexus and analyzes cardiac performance of the heart and respiratory system, accumulating data and transferring them via Bluetooth 4.0 LE to smartphones and tablets.
Hexoskin has developed a solution for those who are not ready to put up with attachments and are looking for the most inconspicuous set of monitoring systems for training. In the assortment of the company, sports suits with a special pocket for a small device (7 cm in length, weighs 40 grams), which analyzes all the information about training: cardiac activity data, frequency and strength of breaths, distance, calories spent, and also measures the ultimate yield oxygen in the muscle VO2 max.
On the other side of smart clothes are concepts of jackets and accessories for energy accumulation with subsequent transfer to mobile devices. The portable solar panel Acme Power can already be purchased for hikes today, and in the future we should expect the development of ideas that previously flashed in the joint project of Pvilion and Tommy Hilfiger, which added solar batteries and a storage unit with a capacity of 6000 mAh to the outer clothing.
Arrow Company has launched a smart shirt with Arrowfly’s NFC tags. The tags store information about the user and allow you to transfer contacts or a link to your partner in social networks in one touch, launch your favorite track or a meeting mode with an auto answer to all calls on your smartphone.
A spider-dress created by the designer Anouk Wipprecht, serves to protect personal space. On the shoulders the dress is equipped with special “paws” that react to movement. If someone comes too close to you, the dress will “straighten the paws” and repel the uninvited guest.
Unlike Nike, which has closed the sale of Nike + sensor, enterprising Asians took up the development of sports shoes with extended range of features. Sneakers Xiaomi Smart Shoes are manufactured in China under one of the largest sports brands of Li-Ning and equipped with a Bluetooth-tracker like Mi-Band. A wide range of colors, women’s and men’s variations, plus a small price makes them an excellent option for summer runs of light, followed by tracking activity and route.
What can you buy today?
The most notable innovation of the near future has become the clever Levi’s jacket from the Commuter collection, created in collaboration with the Google Jacquard project. Filled with sensors and touch controls, this jacket is designed to change our user experience with smartphones and WEB-services.
It is obvious that today smart clothes are at the start of development and their development depends on the direction in which the electronics of wearable devices are moving. The surge in the popularity of fitness bracelets and clever clocks introduced affordable sensors and sensors into sports equipment, and the development of control units allowed the introduction of heating into the daily vest, as well as the BT headset in headgear. The further development of the industry directly depends on sports trends and the reaction of the fashion industry. Just a year ago smart clothes were just an addition to the stand of Samsung and other companies at CES, and this year on April 21, China hosted the first Wearable 2017 summit, and on July 25 a separate conference dedicated to smart clothes will be held in San Francisco. As they say, it has begun!