Are Smart Clothes the New Wearable Tech?


If you’re one of those people that, like me, love technology but hate how dorky it looks, well, we’re in luck. Bonus points if you are actually into fashion.

At this year’s CES (Consumer Electronics Show) in Las Vegas, wearable tech was all the rage – but not the way you think. We’ve seen wearable tech evolve from big and bulky pieces to small, even fashionable jewelry. The watch based tech from Apple, Samsung, and more all offer multiple case and band colors, allowing the consumer to add their own style to their tech. Fitness tech like Jawbone and Fitbit have tried to streamline the look of their pieces so that they blend with everyday attire. Innovative companies like Misfit have taken it a step further and created a fitness tracker shaped like a disc that can be popped in and out of various pieces of jewelry so your fitness tracker can go from open road to gala.

But…what if instead of trying to make wearable tech blend in with your clothing…the wearable tech IS your clothing? Whoa. Now that is what I call innovation. I mean, I love tech, and I love clothes, so this is obviously the greatest thing I’ve ever seen come out of CES. 4K Ultra TVs have nothing on smart clothes.

So, orange is the new black, and smart clothes are the new wearable tech. While most of the smart clothing did more than just fitness tracking, this seems like one of the most logical markets to launch this tech in. People are already familiar with and accepting of fitness tech, so making smart clothes that give consumers some of what they are used to, and something new, is a no -brainer.

Here are a few of the smart clothing items that CES attendees might have seen in the fashion show or out on the floor:

  • Pants pockets that clean your smartphone screen!
  • LED light dresses!
  • Fitness tracking belts!
  • Heart and breathing rate tracking bras!
  • Shoes that heat your feet (and track your steps)!
  • Self-tightening shoes (goodbye laces)!
  • Form rating running socks!

These items sure do sound fun, and I’ll be the first in line to buy them…just as soon as the tracking and smart tech that is going to be used is perfected. There is still a lot of work that the big companies need to put into their sensors and their apps, let alone the small companies trying to break into the space. Before the public can be sold on tech that looks good, we need tech that works good. So, I can’t replace my entire wardrobe with smart clothes yet, but the future is sure looking fashionable.

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Julie is totally technology driven. She is an early adapter, getting the newest devices first and loves seeing how they work. She is the first one called when her friends need help setting up networks, new computer systems, printers and cool home automation devices. She loves being the token "dork" in her group of friends.