Technology Suit: The Wearable Technology
Modern technology is a giant roller coaster which is on a major swing and has taken over our lives completely for a ride into an amazing world. There is no aspect of our life which is untouched by technology be it education, health, communication, commerce, travel, entertainment…. the list is endless.
One of the latest breakthroughs is smart clothing. To the layman this may sound as if it is out of a science fiction movie, but it is rapidly becoming a reality.Till the recent past, the most ambitious visualisation would be something from a Hollywood movie of a special wrist watch which doubles as a lethal weapon or a mobile with a destructive core. Now, there are such exciting inventions that are beyond anything that can be imagined in our wildest dreams.
The tech giants reasoned that clothing is something that everyone has to wear, actually there is no option of not wearing clothes, so why not change normal clothing into smart clothing. Encouraged by the scope of new inventions in this area, computer scientists and their new inventions are now focused at wearable technology.
Recently, an interesting bit of research was done and that was to weave touch panels into conventional fabrics using old-fashioned textile manufacturing processes and voila! The magic happened! We now have technology enabled fabrics available for stitching smart suits, slacks, jackets etc.
Another process was to create conductive components into smart garments. These unique threads are able to detect and transmit electric signals within smart clothes. Basically, once the sensors are within ourclothing, they become capable of picking up minute packets of information from our body parts, our movements and gestures.
In the past people used to use monitors on the wrist to keep track of body parameter such as blood pressure, heart rate, breathing rate, muscle tension etc.Now the scenario has completely changed as manufacturers have developedsmart underwear to measure the body parameters mentioned above, to keep a check on health and wellness levels like stress, anxiety, activity and so on. Their main aim is to help people maintain good health and take preventive action.
Smart clothes of today have the health monitoring sensors as well as a GPS embedded in them which remains connected to their smart phone. These pick up subtle signs of physical unease and immediately go into a mode that alerts the user even before he is consciously aware of it. Imagine how many lives can be saved, if only a warning signal of an impending heart attack is given, before the actual situation manifests.
Additionally, GPS enabled garments are a boon forpeople in their old age and their family members. Once the location and condition of the wearer is detected, the smart suit generates a message along with the location for the smart phone. In case of emergencies it also sends SOS to the closest medical centre, family member or caretaker.
Imagine a smart pair of fitness pants which actually helps the user to exercise better by gently pulsing at the ankles, knees and hips encouraging better stretches and more fluid movement.
For weight watchers, a smart vest would be a must. This is designed with cooling thermoreceptors placed on the chest and back. The logic is that if the body is cooled below the required body temperature, the fat cells will break down to maintain the ideal warmth required. What a boon for the overweight, no watching of carbs or high intensity workouts, just a magical vest to achieve the impossible! Not only that, it will also give the number of calories burnt, which will provide a major mental high.
Then there is the futuristic jacket which has touch and gesture sensitive areas on the sleeves which interact with the smart phone. With just a tap on the sleeve, the user can receive or dismiss a phone call, change tracks on the music which is playing on the phone and which he is enjoying through his earphones or get directions from the GPS system. This is ideal for the sports enthusiasts who can achieve all this with just a tap while jogging or biking.
The pinnacle in the field of clothing would be a smart wardrobe. This is a highly advanced wardrobe with a built in computer, touch screen on the door and electronic hangers. It is designed to perform the most amazing functions for the fashion conscious.
The wardrobe keeps track of all the clothes the user possesses and also maintains a complete history of what clothes were worn in the past, which outfit was worn to a friend’s wedding or party, which suit was worn for an office dinner etc. so that the same outfit is not repeated.
The user enters his visiting plan through the touchscreen and the intelligent wardrobe starts working. It analyses the occasion, place and people the user will be engaging with and prepares a list of recommended outfits.
For example, the user may enter his plans as a business meeting in Amsterdam, followed by a marriage at a glamorous resort in Bali. The wardrobe will get information from the net about recommended clothing for the formal meeting, keeping in mind the weather conditions. In a similar manner, appropriate outfits for the wedding will be selected keeping in view the different functions which will take place, such as the bachelor’s night, rehearsal dinner or reception. The wardrobe is extensively programmed, to the level of finding all the information about the resort. For example, as the venue is a beautiful island, a swimming costume along with the related paraphernalia will be included.
The scenario is mind boggling, anything is possible with the latest technology.It is high time all of us get in touch with tailors who are stitching technology suits and other smart garments and procure our own.
Please refer to the related article at Investor Business Daily Article.