The Internet of Things has spread to a new industry, one which people might not ever have expected it to spread to: the fashion industry. We have seen new interesting trends like an LED dress. IoT fashion can reflect the wearer’s mood by displaying a change in the patterns or color of the item of clothing or display messages on a monitor, predicting the wearer’s health.
Fashion IoT can really help transform the way that we monitor and therefore take care of our bodies. It can help keep us safe and healthy. New hospital gowns, for example, have IoT technology in them that can monitor patients.
IoT sportswear can track and monitor your progress, helping you have a better and more useful workout. It can also make you more visible at night by using more advanced technologies than reflectors. Smartwatches, which have become very popular, are another form of IoT sportswear. And if you don’t have a smartwatch then instead of having to carry around your phone with you maybe you want to invest in a new IoT glove. This Smartglove is designed with a microphone and Bluetooth connection in it, and can be used as a smartphone to make calls. These gloves are not only useful for those who are working out but for those who work with their hands, especially those who wear gloves, and who can’t have access to their phones during the day.
Sneakers are another few IoT fashion trend that has been taking the industry by storm. All the way back in 2004 Adidas started the trend by including sensors embedded inside the pumps of some of their sneakers. After every step someone takes in the sneakers the shoe alters itself, employing a generator in the center of the sole. According to iotworm.com, “the engine then switched a prop, which extended or reduced a cable, changing the compression qualities of the heel pad. Adidas then used related technology to hockey shoes, having a processor configured especially for the performance tracking”.
Just a few years later we saw even more developments in the IoT footwear industry. Apple and Nike in 2006 and Adidas in 2011 created “real-time personal trainers” marketed as the “boot using a brain.” The adizero f50 and MiCoach app launched by Adidas tracks and records your pace, the number of sprints you do, mileage, and other data. It then publishes this data wirelessly to a mobile app. You can even compare your performance to that of professional athletes. In 2013, as a counter to these shoes, Google created a talking shoe that commented and encouraged the wearer. Then Nike took it one step further and came out with the HyperAdapt 1.0 Self lacing shoe, which was a true game changer is the fashion internet of things industry.
IoT footwear is not only helping people have better workout but also helping those with disabilities. In 2011 two engineers from MIT created an electric sole for shoes that, through a wireless link with a smartphone and GPS that can even be used while offline, can guide the visually impaired via voice directions and vibrations. These shoes even feature an ultra sound barrier sensor.
Fashion IoT follows these design principles:
- Content: less is more
- Communication: focus on communication with the wearer rather than simply displaying the data
- Influence: don’t force new technologies, rather allow users to adjust their future behaviors by providing new information and/or capabilities
- Interaction: human interaction with the device should be as minimal as possible and expedite the user’s manual actions
- Intention: use persistent design elements, alerts, just-in-time information, and notifications with discretion
- Intelligence: fueled largely by intelligence from big data, analytics, and sensors, which are often embedded in other devices
- Enhancement: leverage the digital world to enhance the user’s behaviors, actions and experiences in the real world
- Network: communicate with an expanding community of wearables, data devices, systems, platforms, services and software