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Fashion Friday: Is Technology Fashionable?

We’ve come a long way in technology, but would you have expected it to infiltrate the fashion industry? Perhaps, especially if you’ve been keeping up with the topic. Tech companies have spent such a remarkable amount of time perfecting smartphones, that now it appears it’s time to concentrate efforts in other areas, such as fashion.

Earlier this week at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, several pieces were introduced such as the Smart Jacket, an LED ankle strap, a skullcap for football players, and a fiber optic dress that changes colors based on your mood, among other items. This is the stuff we dreamed of as kids, but it’s becoming a reality!

Wearable Technology - 1The thought behind the Smart Jacket, or Navigate Jacket as it’s called by Wearable Experiments, is to free up one’s hands when they’re navigating a new place.  So often when we explore an area, we keep our eyes glued to our devices, trying to figure out where exactly we are on the map.  The problem is, we’re missing all of the new sights and our phone is robbing us of that experience.  Furthermore, it can be rather dangerous to focus all of your attention on your phone rather than being more aware of your surroundings.

That’s where the Navigate Jacket comes in with its built in GPS.  As explained by NPR, “The Navigate Jacket integrates with the mapping app on your phone. Type in a destination and little vibrators built into the shoulder pads tap you on the left to turn left, on the right to turn right, and double tap when you’ve arrived.”

Another item worth noting is the LED ankle strap that is connected to a high heel shoe. Wearable Technology - 2It’s a very fashionable piece created by Michael Lee of Erogear. Lee comments that, “Just like a Jumbotron… it can also stream live Twitter feeds.  Within two or three seconds of you uploading to your Twitter, it will actually show, after a profanity filter, obviously.” It’s definitely a statement piece that will attract much attention!

The final piece of wearable technology I wanted to highlight was the skullcap from Reebok.  While this item is more about function rather than fashion, it is definitely worth talking about! This skullcap is designed so that if a player is hit in the head, a device inside the cap will help them make a decision on whether it is serious enough for them to sit out. While the decision to stay or leave the game is ultimately left up to the player and coach, this new technology should make the decision process more straightforward and hopefully reduce serious brain injuries for many players.

Fashion is evidently moving in a different direction and becoming much smarter.  I think we’re going to begin seeing numerous companies catch wind of this opportunity and start introducing their own lines.  Take Apple or Intel for instance. According to NPR, Apple recruited a top executive from Burberry and Intel is working with Barneys New York to produce wearable technology lines of their own. Ready or not, this type of fashion is no longer light years away!

The promotional industry hasn’t introduced wearable technology yet, but I’m sure it’s in the near future for us. The question is, if given the opportunity, would you want any of these items or are you not on board yet with the idea of fashion and technology becoming one?

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