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The future of smart clothing: 3 ways VR, AI, IoT will change the way we choose, wear clothes

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Fashion. On the one hand, it’s a familiar word with a straightforward meaning – the latest style of clothing. On the other hand, there is a whole universe behind this title. Fashion has always been a reflection of the historical period. Whether military uniforms or ball gowns, clothes serve various socio-cultural purposes. Thousands of different trends, multiple Pantone colors, extraordinary styles, and unique prints- it’s even hard to mention all the transformations fashion has undergone since ancient times.

The modern world also brings something new to 21st-century fashion. In the era of global digitalization, innovative technologies influence all aspects of human existence, so fashion isn’t an exception. With the emergence of Virtual Reality, Artificial Intelligence, and the Internet of Things, clothes have gained entirely new meaning. Sounds impressive, doesn’t it? So if you’re interested in the future of smart clothing, read on, and let’s explore this exciting topic together.

When did the discourse about smart clothing begin?

Until the mid of the 20th century, clothing had two primary goals: covering our bodies and visually distinguishing us from each other. However, in 1966, things have dramatically changed due to Steve Mann’s study “Smart clothing”: Wearable Multimedia Computing and “Personal Imaging” to Restore the Technological Balance Between People and Their Environments.”

In this research, the author introduces the concept of smart clothing: “Smart clothing is a step toward truly personal computing and enhanced situational awareness, with less (or possibly no) reliance on a centralized infrastructure.”

As you can see from this quote, Mann had described this interesting technology long before it turned into reality. Nevertheless, his ideas seem outdated for contemporary readers as technologies evolved faster than he could predict. Therefore, let’s take a more modern-oriented approach toward this topic and review it through the lens of trendy innovations, such as VR, AI, and IoT.

1. VR-enabled smart clothes eliminate the border between the real and artificial world

Informational exchange

Is it possible to merge the real with the virtual world into an entirely new dimension? From a scientific standpoint, it’s impossible (for now). Yet, smart clothing combined with VR developments can make you feel like it’s real. Just imagine that a VR headset will be able to send information of heartbeat and temperature of the person inside the virtual world to the actuators embedded in the clothes. Thanks to sensory feedback, this haptic technology will enable users to undergo their virtual experiences through feelings in real life.

Gyroscope and Accelerometer

These sensors capture the user’s motion in real life. With this motion-capture technology, it will be possible to guide the avatar in the artificial world.

2. Clothes with AI improve sports performance and ease our life

Artificial Intelligence sportswear

Though wearable devices like watches and fitness trackers that measure a user’s vital signs are already used in the sports industry, smart clothing can offer even more than that. For instance, Sensoria provides a wide range of smart garments for multiple activities, including T-shirts, socks, and mats. Due to AI-based in-app coaches embedded in Sensoria’s clothes, users can significantly advance their running performance. After all, detailed analytics performed on garment-generated data and smart guidelines generated by AI not only help users track their efficiency but also save their time spent on the performance assessment.

Check news, weather, and maps with one gesture

Engineered for motion, optimized for the city. We updated our iconic Trucker Jacket, integrating thoughtful design details for active use in the modern city. 150 years of Levi’s® denim innovation meets Google engineering to create this groundbreaking garment, with conductive Jacquard™ Thread woven in. Levi’s® Commuter™ Trucker Jacket links to your mobile device via Bluetooth. With a tap or brush of the cuff, you can control music, screen phone calls, or get directions. A few simple gestures keep you on course, in touch, and connected. A classic for decades, re-invented for today.

3. IoT in smart clothing

An efficient way to prevent Sudden Infant Death Syndrome

Sudden baby death disorder is considered a parent’s bad dream. On the beat of that, its causes remain unclear. Most, if not all, parents have gotten up during the night to check on their newborn’s breathing, including their fatigue and rest hardship. Fortunately, a shirt made with IoT fabric can solve this issue. In contrast to simple baby monitors, IoT-enabled clothing tracks a child’s breathing and warnings parents when breathing is irregular or hindered. For example, a New York-based startup, Nanit, has created such a wearable for modern babies to enable their parents to sleep better. According to Nanit’s statistics, “94% of parents say they sleep better with Nanit.”

A new level of communication

Though smart IoT-enabled garments are typically associated with the connection of clothes with the wearer’s body, such innovative wearable devices also can communicate with the immediate environment. Thanks to integrated transmitters, smart clothes can be recognized and contacted individually. Let’s describe a representative example to illustrate this opportunity: just imagine that visitors of the basketball match can use their t-shirts to buy tickets or pre-order VIP seating and drinks.

What is the future of smart clothing?

There is no doubt that smart clothing is an incredible innovation that has just entered its early developmental phase. Yet, as far as VR, IoT, and AI rapidly evolve, smart clothing also has a promising future. While today it’s perceived as something that is far from reality, it’ll soon become an attribute of each standard user.

Story by Alina Kutsa

augusta free press
augusta free press