What is Smart Clothing?October 11, 2019 1 By Marvin
Everything is becoming “Smart”. I for one, am thrilled and excited about this new wave of technology. The first generation of Smart Clothing has slowly made its way onto the market without a lot of fanfare. Firstly, What is Smart Clothing? There is no exact definition for Smart Clothing. In this article, I will aim to define Smart Clothing and the current state of this technology.
What is Smart Clothing?
Smart garments, smart clothing, smart textiles, or smart fabrics. These all fall into the category of E-Textiles, as defined by Wikipedia. There are 2 types of E-Textiles, Performance Enhancing, and Aesthetic. I will be focusing on Performance Enhancing and adding my own subcategory called Medical.
Much like fitness wearables, Smart Clothing can be used to measure and modify performance. There are skins, shirts, tights, and other sports apparel that have been designed to relay critical performance information. These garments can even give you advice on how to improve, it’s really cool.
There are a couple of products out there that help with Quality of life. What I mean by this is, Products that help monitor Medical Conditions like Diabetes. Some products monitor blood oxygen and even respiratory rate. Even Apple Watches now have ECGs in them. Medical applications are endless.
Current State of Smart Clothing
Nadi X – Yoga Pants
If you are into doing yoga at home, these are pretty cool. When working out at home its hard to know if you are doing things correctly. The Nadi X Yoga Pants have built-in Haptic Feedback/Vibrations that will prompt you when a pose isn’t right. It will guide your body into the correct position and how to tell you how long to hold a pose.
It connects via Bluetooth to your Smartphone, you can then use a companion app that gives you feedback. It’s an excellent idea that I can see applied to other workouts. It comes in a variety of colors and sizes. The cost is usually $179 USD on Amazon.
Levi’s Commuter Jacket – Project Jacquard
I have never liked denim, but I would buy this Levi Commuter Jacket. Levi and Google collaborated on this, and it’s called Project Jacquard and there was a lot of hype around the Jacket a few years ago. You can’t do a lot with it, but it connects to your phone via Bluetooth and you can screen calls and control music. There is even some Google Maps integration that allows you to get directions by tapping the sleeve.
Much like other modern tech, over time, Google will be adding more features and updates. It comes in male and female cuts and the technology is waterproof. I’m excited to see how much extra functionality Google and Levi can get out of this jacket in the future.
Spire Health Tags
One of the first articles I ever wrote was on the Spire Health Tags. They are still a viable option in 2019 to “Smartify” your wardrobe. They are fairly pricey at $399 USD for an 8 pack, but the benefit is being able to attach them whatever you like. Pajamas, Workout Gear, Work Clothes, it doesn’t matter. You can track, sleep, stress, activity and pulse rate, all-important metrics.
It is true set and forget, you never have to charge these tags and they are Washer and Dryer safe. I still recommend these as the number one and most natural way to track your body and lifestyle.
These have been created to aid people suffering from Diabetes. They have sensors woven into the socks that detect a rise in heat, this is usually caused by inflammation. Some people with diabetes have nerve damage in their feet, this causes numbness in their feet, therefore they don’t notice the rise in temperature.
When a rise in heat is detected, the socks send a notification to your phone, they send a text to your phone, and they can also send that information to your doctor. That’s pretty cool. You can pick these up on a monthly subscription, Siren send you new socks every 6 months. They cost $19 USD a month.
Owlet Smart Sock
I’m not a parent, but I can appreciate how stressful having a newborn can be. The Owlet Smart Sock monitors your babies Heart rate and Oxygen rate while they are asleep. The sock connects to a wireless base station that will change color depending on whether heart rate or oxygen rate is high, low or normal.
The socks are washable and you get a companion app that gives you realtime feedback from anywhere in the world. It will even show you how well your baby has slept and for how long. They cost $299 USD and that seems fair to me.
The Future of Smart Clothing
Above I have given you a few examples that show what is Smart Clothing, and the current state of Smart Clothing. As you can see, it’s mostly based on tracking and feedback. There are some slight interaction capabilities, but its mostly tracking at this stage. I think the future is very bright though. As technology improves and gets smaller and smaller, we will see more consumer options that allow greater interaction between Clothing and Technology.
What do you think the future of Smart Clothing looks like? Comment below and let me know
About The Author
Long story short I am a self-proclaimed Tech Head, I love almost anything with a smart feature and Google Assistant is my best friend. I run mobilemarv.com and I aim to be your one stop shop for anything Tech, Smart or Mobile