The fusion of nanotechnology and fabrics gave birth to the new era of clothing, which is termed smart wear. It can perform a wide range of uses. in mundane practices to professionals or in the workplace. Some of these materials can capture and convert energy from sound, vibrations, or heat from the surroundings. From monitoring health conditions to giving accuracy in workouts, and working like a handy device, these clothes can serve a lot much more than traditional wear. Let’s look more closely at these clothes through this article.
What is smart clothing and Smart Wear?
When we hear the word smart wear, in a second a little watch with a display pops into our head, which can do things more quickly than handling a phone for the same purpose and also can sense and monitor your physical condition. But nowadays technology is booming like never before, and smart clothing has entered into the commercial market and is available also, you will be amazed to know the technology and the features it provides.
Smart clothes or smart wear are frequently referred to as smart garments, electronic textiles, e-textiles, monitor clothing, and smart fabrics. The main concept is fusing the technology of monitoring, sensing, or any kind of feature-providing function into the fabric itself, and the generally looking cloth will act like a device, functioning beyond its traditional use.
All these credits go to nanotechnology, which allows us to embed all those sensors and other devices in a very thin fabric or in a tiny space. Mostly all those smart clothes have some sort of sensor and a wireless connectivity system, and sometimes a tiny film battery or nanogenerator for charging. smart wear connects to your mobile or monitoring system by Bluetooth or Wi-Fi which allows you to interpret the data. So, come let’s check some of those smart wear and what advantages they provide.
History of smart clothing
You will be surprised to know that, in the late ‘ 90s, the concept of smart clothing came into the super Saiyan brain of some scientists, they really thought beyond the eras. One of the very first iterations was developed by a British inventor named Harry Wainwright, In 1985 he ingrained fiber optics, leads, and a microprocessor in a sweatshirt, and the shirt displayed color animation. After that, the main game changer of the connectivity system takes birth, Bluetooth.
In 1994, Jaap Haartsen of Ericsson introduced the Bluetooth wireless technology standard. In 1994 Jaap Haartsen of Ericsson developed the Bluetooth wireless technology standard, and in 1999, the first consumer Bluetooth device was launched. In 2005, Harry Wainwright with his colleague David Bychkov developed a jacket that can show electrocardiogram (ECG) readings of the human body. And a new era of clothing started, tech giants and supreme clothing brands like, google, Levi’s, Arrow, Tommy Hilfiger, Nike, Owlet Chico’s, Samsung, and Adidas are start to dig deep into this technology and start to develop wholly new kinds of device, which looks like a cloth, but acts like future gadgets.
What Are Some Examples of Smart Clothes?
Currently, a handful of companies have reached that point of advancement and are producing some smart clothes commercially. Come let’s have a look.
The Sensoria Smart Socks discredit the idea that socks wouldn’t get a smart makeover. The textile pressure sensors that are embedded in the Sensoria Smart socks work with an anklet that attaches magnetically to the sock’s cuff and communicates with a smartphone app.
These shocks accurately measure the pressure point on your toe and can track the distance of your walk or run, count the steps you take, the calories you burn, and your walking speed. This smart wear also can identify injury-prone running techniques, such as heel striking or ball striking. This device even functions as a coach, guiding you to correct your errors with the help of audio cues.
Smart Yoga Pants:
In yoga, proper alignment and holding of the right gesture are the single most important thing. It might be challenging for practitioners to understand the level of error they made in these two factors. But Nadi Acts yoga pants from Wearable X company are currently providing this assistance in yoga pants. In these yoga pants, accelerometers and vibrating motors are woven into the fabric, around the hips, knees, and ankles.,that gently vibrates to orient you on how to move and how much to hold When it’s connected to the Natty X mobile app. You got step-by-step pose-correcting guidance with the help of visual and audio cues and corresponding vibrations. This smart wear literally works like a yoga trainer which can guide you to make your posture more accurate.
No matter whether you’re awake or asleep, if you are wearing it, there is an eye that is constantly monitoring your full breathing, cardiac, and movement. Yes, Montreal-based health tech company’s “hexose skin” fuses these traits in a smart shirt. This Smart wear can continuously monitor your heart rate, breathing, and movement.
Hexo skin can also precisely measure your level of effort and recovery, level of fatigue, the number of calories burned, and your sleep quality.
It records all of your data, letting you get a sense of your physical fitness and how it’s changing over time. This is a really better replacement for bulky traditional heart rate monitors that are inconvenient in many circumstances. Just simply connect this to your Bluetooth smart-compatible device like your smartphone or tablet and it will let you know all the details. After the conception is built with the Bluetooth device, it will let you know the real-time data, and can also share directly with your coaches and loved ones so they can also monitor you.
Can you believe that your jacket can make sense, that you got a text or a jacket that can drop pins in maps at your favorite location?
One of Google’s projects, Jacquard’s platform, collaborated with Levi’s, and lunch is the first kind of apparel that can do so. The Levi’s Commuter jacket is embedded with sensors and a touching feature that provides a lot of functions. On the inner cuff, there is a snap tag which is woven into microscopic electronics, that can notify the wearer of incoming information, such as a phone call, by flashing a light on the tag and vibrating utilizing haptic feedback.
The tag is also rechargeable with a battery life of two weeks. Users can just simply brush their cuff to drop a pin, when they are near their favorite site, like a coffee shop. It also gives haptic feedback when your Uber is on the way. You can also assign and change gestures on the companion app.
It can also tell you whether or not you are carrying your phone, as it just instantly identifies your phone when you are wearing it and establishes an instant connection with your phone.
Smart Baby Hat:
In this fast rhythmic life, parents have less time to observe their babies. To monitor and get notified about their children’s location, Neopenda introduces a smart baby hat. The hat is implanted with microsensors and a GPS tracking system. It can identify the accurate location of that baby when he is wearing it. Rather than that, it monitors the baby’s sleeping pattern, can tell if the temperature is in range or not, and even help to understand if the sleep is enough or not. And the most wonderful thing is it has an SOS system, that will alert the parents when the baby will be in danger.
Samsung NFC Suit:
By launching its Body Compass training shirt that tracks biometric data, Samsung has already demonstrated a keen interest in the field of smart textiles. The Bean Pole Golf, which tracks weather and UV levels, has also been released. Additionally, Samsung offers an NFC suite created in partnership with Rogatis that enables digital business card exchange, phone unlocking, and setting of devices to driving and office modes.
Rather than all these, here are some more examples,
- Smart Shoes- Pizza Hut experimented with a shoe that can place your pizza order in a collaboration with limited-edition smart shoes.
- Smart Sleepwear- Athlete Recovery from Under Armour is smart apparel, which can improve sleep quality and muscle recovery by absorbing heat from the wearer’s body and converting it into infrared light. And then it releases infrared light which is good for deep sleep.
3D-Printed Smart Clothes
As smart clothing technologies are growing, in the near future, apparel will monitor our heaths, manage our body temperature, and communicate with our smartphones. Most electronics are made out of rigid substances like metals, which are not that flexible.
With 3d printing technology, we can print metals that can withstand the twisting and stretching motions that clothing undergoes during daily activities. gallium-based liquid metals are promising materials for flexible electronics. Scientists are trying and even printing directly over clothes with electrically conductive ink that can act as a circuit, With the advancement in this technology, making clothes with futuristic features will become easier, and a new era of smart wear will come.
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Yes, smart clothes are much more expensive than traditional clothes. And it has solid reasons too. Once have to take count of the features it provides and from which brand it belongs.
For instance, while a standard jacket would cost you around 100$-120 $, a smart jacket may cost between 250$-550$, which is kind of costly compared to the regular one.
But don't get worried, as per the tech industry, a product's value will fall when its latest version comes, so for this apparently, this rule will not break too.
You can buy the majority of the smart wear from its brand website, although occasionally they are available on third-party sites like Amazon. Or may find it in some physical retail stores. Even some brands like Under Armour, Levi's, and Nike are starting their own line of branded smart clothing. You can also hop websites like Wish App, and AliExpress to get less expensive knockoffs of well-known brands