These days it seems like technology is infiltrating every other industry so it is not surprising that fashion is taking a cue from other fields of popular culture and beginning to intertwine technology into design practice.
Some things still seem very futuristic, and some are even just a design at this point with no actual prototype, however small tweaks to fabric manufacturing for multiple purposes is becoming more common so who knows where the next generation of clothing and accessories will take us. If you are interested in what is out there or what is on the horizon, keep reading to find out more.
Solar charging technology has become so advanced that there are now flexible panels that can be used in clothing without being too restrictive. Think vests, jackets, pockets on pants and shorts, etc. I have already seen bags in everyday big box stores that have solar panel pockets for your devices. The technology is still getting better by the day but some of the current clothing out there has the ability to charge a smart phone up to 50% after just one hour of wearing the garment in the sun.
We have all seen the Fitbit bracelets or other types of bracelets that serve as some sort of digitally connected tracking device, these are all the rage and vary in features with a few shared basics like step count, heart rate, and app pairing. However, what about a bracelet that purifies the air around you. Though not quite on the market yet, the design for Hand Tree was created by a semifinalist in the Electrolux Design Lab Competition. The bracelet would filter polluted air and recycle it back into the atmosphere. The design calls for a refillable carbon filter, an organic light-emitting diode screen, and a rechargeable battery.
One designer made it her goal to make clothing that not only looks good, but responds to the environment around you. This particular line includes a dress that is made of holographic leather and begins to light up as the volume increases. The designer once described it as visual music. There is also a bathing suit that reacts to light. The panel in the center of the suit reacts to light by turning into purple dots. I love the sound of taking off my sundress from Express and having my bathing suit look one way, and watching it change as I lay on the beach.
Eye Catching Clothes
This last one is a little bit creepy but still pretty cool. Designer Ying Gao has a collection that includes a group of dresses that are able to sense when someone is looking at them. If someone stares at the garment for a certain amount of time the tiny motors move parts of the dress. Even cooler, all of the dresses are made with luminescent or glow in the dark thread on either the outer shell or base dress of the garment. The pictures I have seen look pretty cool but I have yet to see one work live in person.