Smart clothing, sometimes called high-tech clothing, smart wear, smart textiles, electronic textiles, smart garments, e-textiles, smart fabrics, or even monitor clothing. All items are enhanced with the latest cutting-edge technology so that they have additional functionality far beyond their traditional use.
Many modern smart clothes on the market today are made using advanced textiles that have interwoven circuitry built-in. Still, others use additional hardware or built-in sensors that give the garment its smart functionality. Most smart clothes connect with a program or app on another device using WiFi or Bluetooth connectivity. Still, this type of connection isn’t always necessary to classify an item as “smart clothing”.
What Kind Of Smart Clothes Can I Buy?
Many companies, large and small, have recently started to invest in integrating advanced smart technology into the clothing that they produce. This has resulted in more smart clothes appearing in virtually all fashion categories. Some of the most common include:
- Smart socks which are capable of detecting which area of the foot receives most pressure when walking or running. They then send the data to your smartphone application.
- Workwear that exchanges digital business cards, unlocks phones and interacts with a range of other devices.
- Smart sleepwear which absorbs the heat from the body of the wearer and releases infrared light. This improves sleep quality and boosts muscle recovery.
- Smart activewear which connects to smartphone apps. You can then record fitness activities and receive recommended workouts tailored to your needs.
Which Companies Are Making Smart Clothing Technology?
In recent years, a number of fashion brands and tech companies have begun to experiment with manufacturing smart clothing. And more will likely enter the marketplace soon if the concept of smart clothes proves popular with consumers.
Some of the best-known brands that are currently making their own smart garments include:
- Tommy Hilfiger
- Under Armour
- Ralph Lauren
A few smaller organizations are also starting to enter this niche market, including Hexoskin, Komodo Technologies, Loomia, and Sensora. Some small companies have begun to make their mark in the smart clothing arena by pairing up with more prominent fashion labels. Examples of these brands include BioMan and OmSignal.
How Much Do Smart Clothes Cost?
Incorporated technology makes smart clothing possible. However, this proves quite expensive, so it isn’t surprising that smart clothing tends to come with a higher price tag than a regular garment. For example, a smart jacket could cost twice or even four times as much as a standard jacket in a similar style, depending on which brand you buy.
Of course, older smart clothing will be cheaper than the latest releases. As expected with any type of fashion item or tech product. You can also find cheap imitations of big brand products on online marketplaces; however, these may lack the functionality of the real thing.
Where Are Smart Clothes Sold?
It’s usual to buy smart clothing from the brand’s website. However, third-party online stores and physical stores will sell them in some cases. Sporting brands like Under Armour may sell their smart clothes in major sports good stores. In general, though, it’s essential to check that you’re buying from a reputable retailer since, as mentioned above, there are many cheap imitations available online that may offer far less functionality than the genuine article.
Is A Wearable A Form of Smart Clothing?
The term “wearable” is usually used when referring to fitness trackers like the Apple Watch or Fitbit. However, companies or consumers often used this term interchangeably with smart clothing. This use of the word isn’t really incorrect since the term means technology that can be worn, but in general, “wearables” should only be used if you’re talking about a high-tech accessory like a smartwatch. Meanwhile, smart clothing is the right term used for tech-containing garments.
Which Types Of Smart Clothing Are Most Popular?
There are many kinds of smart clothing on the market. Some have been around for a long time – for example, the classic beanie that also contains Bluetooth connectivity. Others are new but are proving popular with a range of consumers. These include:
- The Levi Commuter x Jacquard – made in collaboration with Google, this Levi denim jacket can screen call, control music volue and receive notifactions via Bluetooth connection to a smartphone.
- Snapchat’s Spectacles 2 – these second generation smart glasses can improve image quality of photos and videos while also containing dual microphones to allow for speedier transfer times and better sound recordings.
- Nadi X – these yoga pants are capable of sensing if you need to refine your yoga pose and, by using haptic feedback, they tell you which part of your body requires adjustment.
- Under Armour’s Athlete Recovery – this clothing line is capable of absorbing heat from your body then reflecting it back onto your skin in the form of far infrared light to enhance relaxation and improve muscle recovery. Under Armour have also created pillowcases and bed sheets that cover the body in infrared light during sleep.
- Sensoria Fitness Socks – these use an advanced textile sensor inbuilt into both socks along with a connected anklet that delivers accurate data about how each foot lands when running or walking. The connected application will then offer tips about how to improve your technique while tracking your speed, steps, distance traveled and altitude.
- Neviano Swimsuits – made and designed in France, Neviano Swimsuits are stylish while also featuring an integrated UV sensor. This sensor will alert the wearer when it’s time to apply more sunscreen in order to prevent burning.
- Siren Socks – designed for people with diabetes to wear, using small sensors through the fabric to measure the temperature of the foot at 6 points and detect the ulcerations that are common in diabetic people and which can result in foot problems and even amputations.
These are just a few of the most recently developed smart clothing items on the market today. As time goes on, we’re sure to see more of these garments that can make a big difference in our everyday lives.
Whilst you’re here, take a look at our article about smart jewelry.
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Emma brings over a decade of freelance copy and content writing experience and is our Editor, Social Media Manager, and regular contributor. Specializing in long-form content such as blogs, articles, lead magnets, and white papers, Emma also provides businesses with email marketing, website copy, and landing pages.