Posted on February 10, 2020Wearable tech is already in gym clothes, military gear, and medicine, but it may soon be arriving at an office near you too. Technologists predict that work clothes embedded with sensors will do everything, from measure our stress levels to remind us of upcoming appointments.
The technology is already surprisingly advanced. Google, for instance, launched a platform in 2017 that lets manufacturers place Bluetooth-enabled tags in clothes to enable users to swipe to receive calls, send texts, and receive notifications. Furthermore, LEDs sewn into clothing, the company says, will provide notification alerts, just as they do on regular mobile devices.
The changes won’t just focus on transforming work clothes into smart devices, though. Manufacturers are also looking at ways to use the tech to improve how workers feel. Lighting embedded into clothing could adjust based on mood data collected by in-built sensors.
The type of materials that garment makers use is changing too. Companies like Bolt Threads, Modern Meadow, and House of Fluff are creating realistic faux fur and leather using mushrooms, collagen protein, and microbes.
For workers who perform heavy manual tasks, the prospect of a genuine power suit is looking increasingly real. Cutting edge firms are creating wearable tech exosuits that use batteries and motors to assist wearers when lifting heavy objects.
Finally, some companies are using wearable technology to make clothing that automatically adjusts warmth levels in response to the outside temperature. Boston-based Ministry of Supply, for instance, has made a jacket complete with a heating element and thermostat that adjusts its output based on body temperature.