Lack of interactivity in your everyday clothes? Then smart clothing is definitely for you. This futuristic approach to fashion uses ‘wearable’ tech to connect our clothing to the internet, transforming what we wear.
Smartwatches are the most successful example of this type of technology, but this is just the beginning. Within the next several years, we could see a variety of innovations that combine fashion and technology seamlessly.
Google Glass has been on the market for a few years. In fact, by 2023, experts suggest that 10% of all eyewear, including glasses and headsets, will be connected to the internet.
Having access to the internet through your eyewear will allow us instant access to information, turning our vision into a digital interface.
As well as browsing Facebook hands-free, smart eyewear has more significant potential as a learning tool, offering a completely new way to share instructions and information.
While smart eyewear is fairly well established, the concept of bio-couture, which is growing clothing using bacteria, is definitely a bit more left field. By 2025, though, this concept could be a very real possibility.
This bizarre process uses a harmless bacteria to produce, spin, and shape pure cellulose fibres into clothing materials. Effectively ‘growing’ clothes in this way is an eco-friendly solution to the problems associated with manufacturing fabrics.
Amazingly, this bio-couture clothing would also be self-cleaning, meaning you wouldn’t have to waste time and energy on washing your clothes. Result!
As well as growing clothes out of bacteria, in 2025 you could also be charging your phone through your jacket, thanks to innovative solar cells that harvest energy from the sun.
Researchers in Japan are currently developing this technology, which would allow solar cells to be installed into clothing. While existing solar panels are too large and rigid to be used effectively in this way, these tiny solar cells are pliable and could actually be stitched into clothing like any other material.
These amazing solar cells are just three millionth of a metre thick, and are specially designed to both absorb light, while also blocking out water and air. The concept is still in development, but nevertheless represents an exciting innovation for smart clothing.
In addition to clothing, in the future we could also be wearing lots of other tech in a similar way to smartwatches, including wearable drones. The tech company Frogtech expects drones to be the next evolution in mobile devices, going above and beyond what we expect from our phones and tablets. Literally.
Amongst their various concepts is a product called Flare, which you wear on your wrist, and use to navigate new cities. When you need directions you simply tell Flare where you want to go, and it flies ahead of you, guiding you to your destination.
Don’t delete Google Maps from your phone just yet, though – this tech isn’t expected until 2030.