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Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Wearable Technology: Smart Clothes

Technology is getting smarter, faster, more affordable and more progressive than ever. When portable computers were introduced and became popular, I thought to myself, “Portable computer?! What will they think of next?!” Well, they thought of many interesting things since then. Smartphones, smart watches and smart clothes are just the beginning. The world is changing. Technology is making sure that the way we grew up will have nothing to do with the way our kids do. I don't necessarily think that's a bad thing, as long as we are responsible enough with the technologies we develop and not let it divide us. 

Smartphones were the hot topic for a while. Now, basically everyone has one, and they're suddenly not so interesting. Then smart watches entered the scene, and they are still sort of fascinating but they will also fall into the unavoidable abyss of the known and mundane. The next generation smart watches will never achieve the same success as the first prototypes. And that's OK, because this is how progress works. We have to get bored with something in order to think of something new.

The something new I'm talking about in this case is smart clothes. Soon, designers won't try to make the most unwearable clothes, but the most high tech ones. And I think they will also need to know something about engineering and programming, as well, because clothes will quickly become pieces of technology. They will track your heart rate, measure your blood pressure and get heated without wiring within the attire. Do you think I'm joking? Because I'm not!

Sensoria Fitness Smart Socks

Smart socks... I bet you didn't see that coming, did you? Don't worry about it, neither did I. But they're a reality. If someone had told me a few years ago that there were actual smart socks in development, I would've rolled my eyes and told them there was absolutely no way that were true. But it is. Heapsylon is the company behind the project and they have been working on it for over two years, and have already reached the prototype stages. As it turns out, over half the runners in the United States have problems with their feet or some sort of foot injury in the process of running which is enough for the company to think there is a market for their product, rightly assuming that people would buy smart socks to prevent those kinds of problems. 

The socks have integrated sensors and track things like how many steps you're making and what distances you're running, but also possibly more importantly track your weight distribution to make sure that you're not doing anything wrong and that you're not going to injure yourself and actually do more harm than good as you run. The sensors are installed within the socks, with another attachable piece. They will give you an insight on how to run properly and avoid potential damage.

Heatex Heat-generating Textile

If you think that's somehow impressive, wait until you see this one. Kolon Glotech have developed a heat-generating fabric that, unlike previous “heated clothes” doesn't rely on wiring and doesn't create hot spots. Heatex is the kind of fabric you've always dreamed of – one that can be heated, meaning that it can keep you warm, but in the same time it looks and feel the same as normal fabric and doesn't make you look like you're a mad scientists who's escaped from a mental institution (like some modern sweaters do). The clothes will look and feel normal. The only difference will be the added battery which will weight basically nothing. Since the material is water and wind-proof, it can be used as an outside attire just as comfortably as inside. The Heatex apparel can be washed just like normal clothes. The battery will give you about 7 hours of warmth, which I think is not enough, but not bad for a prototype. I'm excited to see this in action. Are you?

About the Author: 

Rose is a tech geek. She really likes to write about everything related to modern technological world that we are living in. Rose works for http://www.cleantoperfection.co.uk/end-of-tenancy-cleaning-sw8-south-lambeth/ as a programmer.

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