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Smart clothing – future of IoT wearables?

Wearable IoT technology is a hot topic and it is not just limited to smartwatches and fitness trackers. We’re also seeing something new – wearables as fashion, in the form of apparel, shoes, and other accessories. Wearables as we know them are on the verge of becoming more truly “wearable” than ever before as they become invisibly stitched into our everyday wardrobe. As fashion designers and mainstream clothing brands begin seeing the value of making their garments smart, we’re entering the next evolution of fashion technology: connected clothing.
Smart clothing and wearables have hit the streets, and more ideas are being explored every day. Some of the use cases are given below:

Redefining fashion with RFID-NFC

Near Field Communication (NFC) technology, a specified protocol within RFID which gives a unique, non-transferrable identity to each item, enabling brands to deliver value-added services that help drive revenue growth and loyalty, while also gathering customer intelligence.

Nadi X yoga pants

The fitness pants come with built-in haptic vibrations that gently pulse at the hips, knees and ankles to encourage you to move and/or hold positions. It syncs up via Bluetooth to your phone and, through the companion app, gives you additional feedback.

Polar Team Pro Shirt

Athletes and coaches will be able to track motion, heart rate metrics and fitness levels in real time.

Supa Powered Sports bra

It has a water-resistant heart rate sensor and AI to not only keep track of workouts but track things like UV levels, too.

Owlet Smart Sock

It uses the same pulse oximetry technology used in hospitals to monitor the little one's heart rate to make sure his or her sleeping and breathing has been uninterrupted. It charges via a base station and syncs to your iPhone or Android phone to deliver data in real-time.

Samsung NFC suit

A men’s business suit, with an embedded NFC button on the sleeve that lets the wearer unlock their phone, swap business cards digitally and set gadgets to office and drive modes.

Neopenda smart baby hat

Neopenda's vital signs monitor is fitted inside a hat for newborn babies. It can measure temperature, heart rate, respiratory rate and blood oxygen saturation.
Sensoria running socks

Sensoria's connected socks aim to track your runs in detail, offering information on pace, distance and time as well as your running style. They can help users run with better form which can lead to faster times and a reduced risk of injury. The socks feature three textile pressure sensors, which measure the pressure placed on the foot during running.

Polo Ralph Lauren Fitting Rooms

In New York City, the brand’s flagship store uses smart fitting rooms equipped with RFID-enabled mirrors to identify garments tagged with RFID UCODE when they’re brought into the room. The RFID tags are provisioned with a unique identifier which is then tied to other information. While in the changing room, customers can access pricing, look for alternate sizes and colors in stock, complementary items, stylist recommendations, or send a prompt to a shop assistant. The interactions are logged by backend software, providing the company with important data on consumer interests and habits.

Like the rest of the wearable market, smart clothing is still in its infancy. However, it is one of the most exciting fields due to the number of different uses that it can be applied to. Technology that is successfully integrated into everyday usage is a rare but wonderful thing and it definitely seems like many companies have got the right idea. There are also incredible considerations for the fashion industry.


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