Wearable technology has been a fast-growing trend for the last several years now. Many influential fashion brands have partnered with companies like Apple and Microsoft to create smart accessories like watches and rings. Now, many of these brands are looking beyond accessories and working to develop smart clothing. Wearable technology will also have a focus on function. Several companies have created a jacket that can charge your phone. MIT researchers have developed a jacket that cools a person down as they work out. Ralph Lauren for the last Winter Olympics outfitted athletes in puffer jackets that had a rechargeable battery-powered heating panel that could be controlled via a Bluetooth app. Since 2017 Levi’s and Google have partnered up to create a line of smart denim jackets. Levi’s Commuter Trucker Jacket was the first piece to launch from Google’s Jacquard line. The jacket can recognize a series of gestures which can signal it to do actions like cue up the next song on your playlist, decline an incoming phone call, and even give you directions. Wearers can customize their gestures in a special app. The jacket is powered through Google’s specialized Jacquard thread. “The threads are made with a hyper thin conductive metal alloy, which can be woven into natural and synthetic fibers and integrated with embedded sensors,” according to CB Insights. The jacket is still machine washable, though! Smart clothing could make the biggest splash in activewear.
Samsung created a garment called the Body Compass workout suit which has hidden sensors that can track your workouts and wellness data. A Sydney based startup called Wearable X created yoga pants that have a built-in haptic vibration that can pulse at your hips, knees, and ankles that signal to move or hold a position. The pants sync up with your phone via Bluetooth and through a companion app to give you feedback about your yoga practice.