• Wearable Tech & the Future of Fashion

Wearable Tech is now very much a buzz term in the world of fashion. Earlier this year saw the drop of the long awaited Apple Watch as the smart watch market finally began to grow in a way many have predicted for years yet in terms of the increasing overlap between technology and fashion watches are on the very peripheral. More excitement seems to surround other potential tech developments with a number of large brands trialling the use of tech within fabric and this excitement took another step up last week with the announcement from another technology giant that could point to the real future of fashion and the role technology will have to play in our daily style lives. 

At their recent developers conference it was Google who released what could now be seen as the biggest game changer when it comes to ‘Wearables’. The announcement of Project Jacquard and partnership with Levi Strauss raises a whole lot of interesting questions about where we see the future of fashion heading in the next few years. The aim of the project and resultant partnership with Levi’s is to create ‘smart clothes’ that allow the wearer to interact with products, services and applications that are accessible through their smart phone devices and tablets, put more simply, syncing their jeans with their digital devices. A more thorough explanation of what Project Jacquard actually is and the implications it could have in all of our wardrobes is given in the accompanying video from Google featured below.

What will come of this particular collaboration in terms of its impact on the world of fashion is yet to be seen but it isn’t the only innovation of its type taking place. To coincide with last year’s US Open Ralph Lauren unveiled their “Polo Tech” design which allowed the shirt to measure heart rate, calories burnt as well as a whole lot of other data that could be transmitted via Bluetooth to an accompanying smart phone application. Like anything to do with fashion if done correctly it will be extremely interesting to see how the advances of technology and its combination with textiles and fabric impact our everyday style choices. In terms of the immediate future it may well be the aforementioned smart watch market and existing players such as Apple and announcements from other leading brands that may have a much larger impact on how technology impacts what we wear.

One of the major question marks surrounding the Apple Watch is still its style desirability. In general this is also a question that could be levelled at the majority of players in the smart watch market at the moment but with designer brands such as Tag Heuer and Guess making movements of intent to incorporate smart technology into their timepieces this could well change. 

Another kind of accessory worth keeping tabs on when it comes to tracking the development of tech’s influence on fashion is most certainly glasses. The now scraped Google Glass initiative had flirtations with high fashion during its short lifetime but we would not be surprised if it was somehow re-erected and incorporated in to Project Jacquad somehow further down the line. Car manufacturer MINI’s unveil of its new Augmented Vision eyewear earlier this year also opens many doors for fashion companies as well.

The augmented Vision eyewear was developed in corporation with the BMW Group Company and its primary aim is to aid driver safety with navigation highlights as well as points of interest projected on to the road but it will also include phone capabilities as well and it’s easy to imagine the possibilities that could lead to this kind of technology being implemented off the road and into everyday life.

Where exactly we are heading in terms of fashion is always hard to predict but with the involvement of tech continually growing the possibilities really are endless. We may not be that far away from jeans that are able to charge our phones in our pockets from the kinetic energy generated from walking through to overcoats hardly being needed at all as slim fabric comes with the ability to generate enough heat to keep us warm on a cold night.. where do you see the future of technology and fashion heading?

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