Advanced technology and high fashion at first seem unlikely companions, but that perception is rapidly changing. In the very near future, what you wear will have a huge effect not only on how you look, but also on how you feel. Your wardrobe will impact your health and you’ll be able to buy wellness off-the-rack at your favourite clothing, footwear or fashion accessories store.
For example, NASA is developing a suit for astronauts that measures BMI. It turns out that time in zero gravity leads to muscle atrophy, and the proposed space suit will play a key role in discovering ways to bring space travelers back to earth with their quads and biceps at full strength. It’s only a matter or time before the trickle-down of this technology shows up at Gold’s Gym to inspire a more effective workout.
We’re already awash in watches and rings and things that measure everything from blood pressure and sleep patterns to stress and the steps walked on a hike. The further advanced NIKKI wearable is designed to go beyond monitoring to actually improve wellness and well-being; restoring and enhancing the body’s ability to deal with issues from poor sleep to allergies and low energy. Described as a “wellness centre on your wrist,” NIKKI uses bioenergetic frequency optimization to define the term “game-changer.”
Here just a few of things you can plan to see soon in your jewelry box, gym bag or clothes closet:
Researchers at the University of Massachusetts have developed a fabric that turns the movement of the wearer into electrical energy that can remotely power a smartphone, fitness watch or other wearable device. No more batteries or charging your iWatch or Fitbit. At Nottingham Trent University the same result is being achieved with fabric that functions as a solar panel. Nike is developing a self-lacing shoe. Other companies are designing footwear that will deliver a full read-out of personal biometrics to a smartphone powered by the fabric your running shorts are made of.
Integrated tech will impact everything from high fashion to athletic wear and clothing worn in senior homes and hospitals. Care worker staffing will be less of a problem and any crisis a patient might face will be anticipated in advance to be dealt with quickly. The health-impaired elderly will have their anxiety eased with assurance of around-the-clock monitoring followed by well-informed and rapid response.
The trend toward fashion with function is creating interesting partnerships. For example, Fitbit is working Vera Wang and Ralph Lauren has plan to offer fashion tech in everything from polo shirts to babywear.
What it all means is that in the not-too-distant future, you’ll be wearing high-tech from head to toe.