Smart wearables: Fashion made high tech

Clothing isn't just for the sake of looking good anymore. Read on to learn how fashion is becoming smarter.

By Perle Systems
March 13, 2023
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When you hear the phrase "smart technology," you likely don't think of clothing and fashion, maybe with the exception of smart watches. But, smart wearables connected to the internet — other than wrist watches and fitness trackers — are here to change that. What does that look like in action? Is smart fashion a profitable or even viable industry? Let's find out.

Where the internet and style collide

The internet of things (IoT) has revolutionized our devices and how we interact with the world. Most of us are familiar with the most obvious of internet-connected smart devices such as phones, tablets, laptops and even TVs. But, IoT data-driven technologies stretch far beyond that: They have applications in every industry from farming to pharmaceuticals. Now, fashion has joined the party.

Design goes digital

As Make Use Of explains, most smart clothing is characterized by embedded sensors, navigational systems and even biofeedback controls. These fixed types of tech collect data such as heart rate, caloric output, distance traveled, navigation and location, altitude and even body composition. This information is wirelessly relayed to a connected device (usually smartphones) and can be viewed via an app.

Fitness fans who are more concerned about health than aesthetics will be delighted to learn that smart clothing is designed specifically to enhance performance. Perhaps the most well known example of smart clothing at the moment is Nike's smart shoe which has functionalities such as automatically adjusting fit and support and even self-lacing capability.

running shoe, running, shoes, fitness, clothing, technology, techRunning shoes can now be as advanced as smart watches.

Nadi's smart yoga pants that measure posture and alignment can be used to enhance poses. For biking enthusiasts, Levi's jackets provide information about routes and distances to help avoid traffic and Sensoria's socks that measure how much pressure is put on feet and (as well as analyzing foot landing technique) will please runners (to name just a few applications of this tech).

However, this technology isn't limited to clothing and watches. Accessories such as bracelets and necklaces are also poised to become popular among tech savvy fashionistas. For example, the jewelry and decor brand Swarovski has released a collection of garments and ornaments that track activity, per RCR Wireless.

The company has taken this tech one step further into the realm of zero energy IoT (devices that don't require disposable batteries or chargers) by using solar energy to power the pieces. If your interest is form rather than function, you might be excited to learn that some smart fabrics change color based on body temperature, which gives a whole new meaning to the phrase "if you like it, buy it in every color."

The future of smart fashion

Unlike most trends in the fashion industry, the Digital Journal says this won't be a fad: The smart clothing market is set to grow to over $17 billion in fewer than 10 years, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of more than 25%. As BBN explains, tracking sensors fixed into garments can also cut down on theft and loss, which is invaluable to an already multi-trillion dollar industry and will only make this tech more appealing and enduring.

Partner with Perle for future-forward tech

We're at the forefront of supplying IoT products that help businesses future-proof their offering and keep pace with the competition, whether they're in fashion, fast moving consumer goods and retail or virtually any other industry.


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