Modern consumers are leading increasingly busy lives as work, family, leisure, and all kinds of extra-curricular activities and commitments take hold. That’s why, new lifestyle products are needed, products able to understand them and respond to their individual needs across various digital services.
Wearables and e-textiles are playing a big part in this movement, paving the way for a new generation of digital clothing. Recent examples include Google’s Commuter Trucker Jacket designed for urban bike commuters, allowing wearers to control their smartphones and connect to a variety of apps, just by swiping the sleeve of the jacket; and Antelope’s technologically enhanced sportswear, which uses electro muscle stimulation (EMS) to maximise performance and increase workout efficiency.
The digital association Bitkom claims that smartwatches and fitness devices have arrived in the mass market and the next revolution of digitised clothing is about to happen. It says that digitisation has ‘penetrated the skin of consumers’ and familiar clothing parts now transform into connected interfaces. The need for wearable tech is increasing rapidly, and application possibilities are manifold. In fact, according to Gartner Inc, sales in the global wearables market are expected to grow by 62.6% by 2021.
To adapt to this changing environment, the international fashion and lifestyle industry has had to innovate and established traditional textiles have had to reinvent themselves in the age of Industry 4.0 – an ongoing process that is still very much in its infancy.
It is therefore crucial for businesses to recognise the potential of wearables in good time and to exploit them for their own corporate goals. For instance, BMW has introduced the smart glove ProGlove to its operations which saves 4,000 minutes a day on the assembly line and revolutionises all production processes.
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