The biggest thing in wearable tech right now is the “Quantified Self”, i.e activity tracking. This involves wearables that measure your body’s biometrics, food consumption, sleep, etc, and enable you to access the data through applications on smart connected devices, with the aim of achieving a healthier lifestyle.
Activity trackers have their critics, but for me, they have plenty to offer. Sure, there’s room for improvement in terms of accuracy, but nevertheless, biometric sensing wearables provide an insight into our daily activities that we would otherwise not know about.
Smartwatches are the next most popular wearables, and their sales are on the rise. Most smartwatches are equipped with all the sensors needed to track your activities, but they’re not really suitable for wearing to the gym or monitoring your sleep because of their size.
Dedicated sports watches have been popular for years, but they cater for a niche market, whereas Quantified Self activity/fitness trackers are designed for everyone, not just athletes and fitness enthusiasts, the same obviously applies to smartwatches.
Currently, smart glasses are not as popular as wrist worn wearables, but the technology still has a way to go before it’s ready for the mass market. There are some brands that are ahead of the rest, such as Recon Instruments, but most are still in the beta stage. With many of the world’s leading tech manufacturers pouring resources into developing smart glasses, when they do land, and they will, the impact is going to be huge!
Which sector of the wearables industry has the potential to conquer all?
Smart Clothes & Fashion
There’s an obvious reason behind why smart clothing will be the biggest thing in wearable tech, “Everybody wears clothes!” The same can’t be said about accessories like watches and glasses. There is an increasing amount of smart clothes becoming available which track biometrics and relay the Quantified Self sentiment, aswell as catering for pro athletes.
However, it will be the element of fashion that will take over the world of wearable technology. Smart clothes of the not so distant future will be interactive in many ways, such as controlling other devices by touching the fabric, displaying messages, telecommunications, biometric tracking, data storage, temperature control and the list goes on.
More important than all these features will be the way the clothes look, as has always been the way with clothes! Patterns, colors, graphics, logos and more will be interchangeable.
The most exciting name in the fashion sector of wearables is the London-based label, CuteCurcuit.
CuteCurcuit are the original innovators of integrating textile technologies into fashion. They launched back in 2004, well before tech giants like Samsung moved into the wearables market, and three years before Apple released the first iPhone.
Creative Director, Francesca Rosella and CEO Ryan Genz design all of CuteCurcuit’s garments in Shoreditch, a district in London’s historical East end known for its artistic culture. All of the garments are manufactured in the UK, Italy and the USA using the finest quality materials.
CuteCurcuit’s manufacturing processes employ clean and ethical standards. Their products are free from hazardous substances, including lead and mercury. Furthermore, they offer a “Return for Recycling” option that allows customers to return a used CuteCircuit item for a discount on new purchases.
CuteCurcuit wearables are made to last thanks to the company’s “Designed for Sustainability” approach, and to further ensure a future proof status, the garments can be updated through their companion app. Adding to CuteCurcuit’s eco-friendly credentials is the micro-electronics used in their wearables having a modular design, allowing for efficient recycling.
CuteCurcuit achieved international exposure in 2010 when Katy Perry wore one of their designs at the Met Gala red carpet event. More of their celebrity clients include; U2, Nicole Scherzinger, Fergie, Eiza Gonzalez and Irina Shayk. The Label have featured at New York fashion week for the past two seasons, aswell as many other fashion events around the world.
CuteCurcuit designs are not just dazzling to the eye, they’re also interactive.
The Eiza Dress, part of the Haute Couture Collection, is an evening dress controlled by Twitter that changes color when receiving a tweet.
The SuperTwirkle Dress, a minidress that reacts to the wearer’s movement by changing color, it’s machine washable and charged via USB.
The Hug Shirt, a t-shirt that allows you to hug a friend over distance. The world’s first haptic telecommunication garment.
Sparkle Booties, high stiletto-heeled reflective ankle booties that illuminate when hit by direct light.
The Mirror Handbag , made with a solid brass frame coated with either gold, palladium or ruthenium. The sparkling handbag creates impressive animations and displays Tweets and messages due to its white LEDs that shine through a laser etched acrylic mirror
In the near future, smart clothes will become more of the norm. They will be luminescent, interactive and rechargeable, turning your body into a digital media platform… A.K.A Fashion Tech..