Is it just us, or is everything âactivatedâ these days â first almonds, now apparel? Wearable tech is super cool, but letâs be honest, it can also be super ugly.
Finally, the geeks are starting to collaborate with style gurus around the world, to create smart clothing and accessories that wonât offend the fashion police. Itâs not just things that go bing â tech giants such as Google are investing big bucks into developing smart fabrics, with interactive technology literally woven into clothing fibres.
More than half of all Australians own some sort of wearable device â mostly smart watches and fitness trackers. Our appetite for clever, connected gadgets and gear is growing faster than ever, and the fashion world is taking notice.
From jewellery to jeans, watches to wallets, smart style is everywhere, and worldwide revenue from wearable devices is projected to double in the next three years. The challenge for designers is fusing tech with construction.
Aussie Ben Moir, co-founder of activated yoga apparel brand Wearable X, says âtechnology should empower the human experience, not overtake itâ. His new labelâs activated tights are designed with âtechnology seamlessly integrated, allowing their beauty and design to take centre stageâ.
Here are some of the latest pieces of high-tech apparel for your shopping list.
A health tracker crafted from wood and coated stainless steel, this oneâs just for the girls. Bellabeatâs Leaf tracks your activity, sleep and menstrual cycle, letting you know when youâre stressed â and guiding you through meditation exercises if you are. Wear it as a necklace, a bracelet, or just clip it on. And donât worry about another device needing nightly charging â Leafâs batteries last six months.
Beyond Seasonal | @EllaRossalina wears the Emel+Aris Womenâs Trench. Hidden under the lining of the Smart Coat is a slim and lightweight proprietary heating system. Shop now at www.emelandaris.com . . #emelandaris #trench #trenchcoat #luxury #thetrench #heatedcoat
A post shared by EMEL+ARIS (@emel_and_aris) on Oct 5, 2017 at 5:12am PDT
Â Smart coat
They look like beautifully tailored coats in classic silhouettes, but we hear wearing one of Emel + Arisâs new garments is like hugging a hot water bottle. Concealing a cleverÂ infrared heating system, this new British coat collection for men and women could change your winter commute forever.
Powered sports bra
Up your workout with a sports bra that tracks your heart rate, using soft, biometric fibres built right into the fabric.Â SUPAâs bra syncs with an app to track your progress. If only it could push us out of bed on a cold winterâs morning, too.
The future is now â introducing the Leviâs Commuter Trucker Jacket with Jacquard by Google, the only jacket that lets you be in the moment while staying connected. Launching at @kinfolklife NYC @fredsegal in West Hollywood and @cncpts Boston from 9/27 to 10/6 #levisxjacquard
A post shared by Leviâs Commuter (@leviscommuter) on Sep 25, 2017 at 1:58pm PDT
Â Commuter trucker jacket
It looks like a fairly unremarkable denim Leviâs jacket â well, itâs not. Google worked with the jeans giant to weave technology right into the fibres, creating interactive fabric. Just swipe and tap your jacket sleeves to do things like get directions, play music and take calls.
â Jamie Gutfreund (@JamieCentral) January 6, 2016
The Human Fit suit
Earlier this year, Korean mega-corp Samsung debuted a âsmart suitâ that allows the wearer to unlock their phone, send digital business cards and control other devices, too. It is available only in Korea at this stage, but expect more like this coming soon.
No need to be rude during dinner, just get a Ringly. Bluetooth sends information from your phone straight to your smart (and pretty) bracelet or ring. Subtle vibrations and light changes let you know when important messages come in. The jewellery also tracks your activity â steps taken, calories burned etc â with an app to track your progress.
Nadi X yoga wear
Looking to nail that downward dog? Sydney-born start-up Wearable X has yoga gear that provides live feedback on body position and how long to hold your pose via pulsing, haptic vibrations.
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