In a world where everything around us is getting smarter – our “smart” phones, “smart” watch or “smart” home devices which are almost able to read our minds through sensors, activity trackers and datas etc – wearable technology is continuously progressing immensely. Wearable technology is a blanket term for electronics that can be worn on the body, either as an accessory or as part of material used in clothing. There are many types of wearable technology and currently, some of the most popular devices are activity trackers and smartwatches. One of wearable technology’s major features is its ability to connect to the internet, enabling data to be exchanged between a network and the device. This ability to both send and receive data has pushed wearable technology to the forefront of internet technology.
As smartfashion is increasingly becoming a part of our everyday lives, I found it incredibly inspiring to meet the 2018 FashionFusion Challenge participants in Berlin to chat about their ideas and expectations. The challenge is a place where innovators compete with other creative minds by sharing their innovative ideas. For me the FashionFusion Challenge is the perfect place to be up to date with all of the exciting latest developments within the fashion and tech worlds, which are dynamic and growing all the time.
The FashionFusion Challenge participants’ major goal is to use digital technologies to connect apparel, accessories and devices together intelligently in ways that provide their users with new and innovative benefits.
These are my 5 personal product highlights from the finalists in the Wearables and Smart Fashion section:
- Wuppertal’s navigation bracelet. The navigation bracelet, made by Yannik from Wuppertal in Germany, is used for orientation in a foreign city.
It assists the wearer in finding directions by working through vibration impulses on the wearer’s wrist: straight ahead, stop, turn right, turn left, etc. The wristband could be used as an add-on for city tours, for walks and in situations where you don’t want to look at your phone for directions every 10 metres.
- Back pain caused by incorrect (and too frequent) sitting, lack of exercise and weak muscles is a widespread problem. The intelligent Orthosis aims to correct this problem using electrical impulses. The product is made by Smart Orthosis which is based in Hamburg/Germany with Lisa Feuchtner, Laura Lassen, Viktoria Hase, Jeannine and Vache.
The upper part of the device is equipped with heat patches and vibration elements to alleviate acute back pain. The Orthosis can be connected to a smartphone via bluetooth and can be individually adapted and controlled via an app. The orthosis is also incorporated in a tight-fitting top and can be worn almost invisibly under normal clothing.
- Maria Przybyslki from Hamburg in Germany is the talent behind the portable navigation system Isabelle.
The intention of Isabelle is to help blind people to become more mobile and better able to explore their surroundings without outside help. The underlying technique combines four different components: a small 120-degree angle camera attached to a pair of glasses and connected to a control server; and an earplug that converts the receives and translates signals into speech signals with the help of artificial intelligence, which warns people of objects in their path, announces steps, etc. The set is completed with shoes with special sensors that are comparable to parking sensors which beep, for example, to stop immediately heed.
- The Radice concept is dedicated to healthy sleep which is incredibly important as approximately 30 to 35 Percent of our life is spent not being awake. While many apps aim to use their own (working) life in a more structured and efficient way, Radice focuses on starting the day energised with fresh energy. In addition to a stylish sleeping collection made of pure silk this also includes an individualized app which teaches tips and tricks for good sleep, such as relaxing breathing techniques. In a second step, the nightwear collection is complemented by smart textiles and sensors that further individualize and promote good sleep. Team Radice is based in Munich and includes Nele Köstler and Jonas Diezun. https://de.radicesleep.com
- The Keypod team, with Sharon Grunberg and Roman Alperovich from Haifa/Israel, is creating workwear with integrated, intelligent communication features.
Teams can communicate with each other in an efficient manner without having to rip out their mobile phone every time. By attaching or integrating the Keypod into workwear, employees can easily exchange voice messages, check tasks and give instructions. Keypod can also motivate employees to be more active and exercise after work due to its ability to be work with sportswear and its integration of music streaming services, training programs or even a personal coach.