Beyond the smartwatch: The future of smart clothing

Wearable technology that disappears into our clothing is certainly coming. As wearable technologies began in the fitness sector, so digital apparel will also begin here. Already Athos Smart Clothing, OmSignal and Sensoria are showing what is possible today.

SCOTTeVEST's Scott Jordan said: "I think clothing will start to extend the capabilities of our mobile devices with pockets for power generation and management, more powerful antennas integrated into hardware on the clothing (like zippers) and other features that allow people to be more comfortable even while mobile."


A smart textile from XelfleX can be used to turn garments into smart sensors

Mindshare's James Chandler concluded: "Lots of predictions point to wearables hardware becoming invisible, so it's possible that once it becomes even more discreet than a wristband or watch there will be breakthroughs in apparel. In the short to mid-term though, expect more innovation in the hardware itself. The Apple Watch is just getting started, and in 12 months' time we'll be comparing the one we wear today to the first iPad. There's still a long way to go with versions two, three and four."

And Dr Karinna Nobbs, Programme Director and Senior Lecturer Digital Fashion Strategy, GCU London, summed up for TechRadar Pro how we might all be wearing our tech soon: "The future is definitely about the seamless integration of the tech and fashion/apparel, however there is a cost implication to that and also a risk associated with it. At the moment jewellery and watches from Kovert for instance are a lower risk and lower price (not in all instances) plus consumers may want to remove the device so as not to be constantly connected."

How we carry our technology continues to evolve, as mobile devices themselves change. It's when our devices disappear into our clothing that a change occurs in our relationship to the technologies we use. Wearing your tech could mean something very different in the future.