Connected Clothes: Shirt that can answer calls, jacket that inflates


Smart clothing industry has been gaining ground and could sell 190 million by 2021, a new study has revealed.

The news comes amidst a series of new announcements starting with the updates to Google ATAP’s Project Jacquard technology.

The recent Google I/O 2016 saw some latest advancement in wearable technology with the Levi’s Commuter Trucker jacket, which cyclists or motorists can use to connect to their smart phones.

Touching a jacket sleeve the user can wirelessly access their phone and favourite mobile apps to adjust music volume, silence a phone call or get an estimated ETA on their destinations.

Jacquard technology is woven into the washable jacket allowing gestures such as tapping or swiping on a sleeve to activate functionality.

Meanwhile, a Portuguese textile company has developed a new jacket that inflates automatically when it hits water. The company has already applied for patenting in the UAE apart from the US and in Europe and could hit the market soon.

The SeaB2 as it is called is developed by Damel and apart from being waterproof and heat-insulated, can protect against fire and against electric arc discharge. With built-in harness and lifeline, it allows for helicopter rescues at sea.

"The SeaB2 inflation system is activated automatically as soon as it hits the water and it is the only system with lifejacket, worldwide, with a lifejacket that allows the user to swim crawl and access the nearest vessel or platform" ensures Victor Paiva, manager of Damel.

According to a recent report the market for smart clothing and body sensors is developing rapidly with a proliferation of form factors and rapid innovation in technology.

According to a new report from Tractica, cumulative worldwide shipments of smart clothing and body sensors will total 190 million units between 2015 and 2021, with annual shipments reaching 92.7 million devices by the end of that period.  

The report also says smart clothing count account to about 30 per cent of that number.

“Smart clothing and body sensors can be considered the ultimate wearables, integrating into your life as a garment, footwear, or sensor device that can track or measure a specific physiological or biometric attribute,” says research director Aditya Kaul.  

Meanwhile, Knix Wear's Evolution Bra, which made about $1.5 million through crowdfunding has announced that its products are ready to be pre-ordered. According to the company the products are designed to combat some of the most common complaints women have about bras and evolves with the active woman throughout her day.

"We knew there was a market for the Evolution Bra based on our extensive customer research, however, our Kickstarter and Indiegogo campaigns confirmed that women are tired of buying uncomfortable bras," says Joanna Griffiths, Chief Knixpert at Knix Wear. "Women are ready to embrace a new wave of bras that address issues that make wearing a bra everyday an unpleasant experience. We are excited to lead that charge and make the Evolution Bra more widely available to women everywhere."

The Evolution Bra is fully reversible with interchangeable straps and can be worn eight different ways. It has a patented bonded construction which eliminates the need for underwires and moulds to the wearer's body, while the four-way stretch reduces impact on the bust. Key benefits of the bra include: anti-odour, anti-microbial, moisture wicking and quick dry technologies, four-way stretch, and a seamless design that is completely underwire free.