Internet of things (IoT) is not just connected cars, home appliances or production chains. In fact, every single object that we use on a daily basis is progressively becoming part of the digital world.
To find quality clothes, which are comfortable and well designed does not seem enough. A denim jacket that allows you to control almost every application on your mobile without even touching the screen; socks that in addition to measuring the steps, count the calories you consume, monitor the way you tread, in order to prevent injuries; or smart sportswear with biometric sensors that measure performance or can detect epileptic seizures. These are just a small representation of how the textile industry and the world of technology are already walking hand in hand.
Great tech giants have set their eyes on Fashion, and are beginning to collaborate with companies in the sector to promote this kind of projects.
An example of this type of collaboration is the initiative launched by Ivyrevel (the digital fashion division of H&M) and Google. They have jointly developed a project called Coded Couture to make a custom garment for each client according to their daily activity. Data such as the places visited, the weather or the route that a user has followed along the streets of the city will be collected with an Android phone for a week to incorporate the client’s personality into the process of designing a unique garment.
And they are not the only ones. Just over a year ago, EVRYTHING partnered with Avery Dennison (a global leader in pressure-sensitive and functional materials and labeling solutions for the retail apparel market) to build 10 billion articles of clothing, smart clothes and footwear called “#BornDigital” (to be born with a digital identity is the condition they seek to integrate inside all those products) in the next 3 years. Customers will be able to interact much more through their phones and the brands will be able to offer exclusive contents, thanks to the combination of smart tags, applications and, software “in the cloud”, thus promoting new consumer experiences.
But not only that. Can you imagine having VIP access to gastronomic experiences, artistic events, special nightlife parties or private sales only through a jacket? These are, precisely, some of the characteristics of another project that EVRYTHNG is carrying out in collaboration with the New York-based brand Rochambeau in its smart jacket BRIGHT BMBR.
Samsung in the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week
Samsung’s case deserves a special mention. The Korean company bets on innovation in fashion for the tenth consecutive time in the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week. In addition to its sponsorship on the fashion show, there will be a Samsung EGO showroom where they will host the proposals of 15 young creators who will put their collections on sale: Anel Yaos, Becomely, Lye Lysianne, María Magdalena or Threeones, already present in previous editions, and new additions such as Dominnico, Lorenasubires or Christian Simmon, among others.
Samsung Ego was inaugurated on Monday, January 29 with the Connect3D fashion show, project of the ZER firm and winner of the Samsung EGO Innovation Project.
Ane Castro and Núria Costa are the founders of ZER. They identified a business niche in the innovative technology-oriented textile segment. After an investigation on 3D printing, they deployed in The Netherlands and turned their research project into something tangible. They are manufacturing scarves similar to those we use every day, but made with 3D printers; in this way, they can produce garments avoiding surpluses. In addition to this technique, they also use laser cutters, obtaining totally tailor-made volumes and shapes that are not reproducible with other techniques. Can you imagine a future where everyone prints their own clothes?
Artificial intelligence and the textile world
Another “hype” technology that is also attracting the attention of the fashion sector is the so-called “Artificial Intelligence” (AI). IBM has partnered with Tommy Hilfiger and the Fashion Technology Institute (FIT) Infor Design and Tech Lab in a project called Reimagine Retail. The goal is to present future designers and textile entrepreneurs how to predict trends through AI, and satisfy hyperlocalized demand (for example, the demand for shirts of a certain music group before the celebration of an upcoming concert). This allows them to have a very quick response in the whole value chain, from the design to the distribution.
Fashion brands do not need expensive electronic devices to become part of the world of technology; there are plenty of options to provide intelligence to clothing, leading to new applications, or collecting data in real time, something previously unthinkable.
Any product can become a data generator and create opportunities that lead to innovative experiences for the consumer. And we are very close to incorporating them into our lives.
Article written by Ana Rosa González, User Experience Manager at Barbara IoT.