CES 2017, also known as the world’s largest trade show, doesn’t divide fashion and technology for the consumer. Rather, it brings both entities together under one roof to heighten the future shopper experience.
“Technology is part of the conversation and it affects all aspects of the fashion ecosystem,” Intel VP of strategic relationships Sandra E. Lopez said at the show, according to The Business of Fashion.
Fung Global’s CES 2017 Highlights noted CTA chief economist Shawn DuBravac’s 2017 technology trends. In addition to more AI involvement on the sales floor, the consumer experience will continue to be highly digitized.
The show highlighted the latest devices that will minimize the gap between fashion and technology. From Under Armour’s smart recovery sleepwear to Spinal Design’s Essential Connected Vibrating Jeans, consumers will now have access to products that satisfy wardrobes and heighten their day-to-day lives.
Under Armor showcased two new products at the show, including UA Athlete Recovery Sleepwear and an updated UA Record App. UA Athlete Recovery Sleepwear was designed to remedy sleep and improve overall athletic performance. Bioceramics technology in the garments maximize comfort and absorb infrared wavelengths emitted by the body. Under Armour’s UA Record App will also now feature a Sleep Recovery System, which will track sleep patterns daily, deliver detailed analysis via a 14-day sleep score and offer custom coaching for sleep habits.
Tokyo-based electronic manufacturer Cerevo debuted the first-ever virtual reality (VR) shoes and haptic feedback gloves at the show. The VR set operates with a nine axis sensor that captures wearers’ movements and allows the wearer to feel reactions in their hands and feet. PlayStation VR is compatable with this new innovation and will be available to consumers this fall.
Vitali Wear also exhibited a wellness smart apparel item for consumers. The company’s Smart Bra monitors breathing, heart rate variability (HRV) and posture to alert wearers of ongoing body patterns. A small device called the GEM sits in the bra and collects data from the garment’s sensors. The Vitali mobile app syncs with the bra and alerts the wearer about anything from stress levels to improved posture during exercise.
Vivobarefoot in collaboration with smart technology firm Sensoria brought a high-tech running shoe to CSR 2017. Unlike other running shoes, Vivobarefoot’s new footwear item contains pressure sensors. To simulate a natural running feeling, these pressure sensors are located at the plantar area of each shoe to track contact time metrics, foot landing and impact score. This AI feature enables wearers to minimize injury during their running workouts and promotes a better transition training plan.
Commuter denim also received an upgrade at the show with Spinali’s Essential Connected Vibrating Jeans. Two vibrating sensors on the jean’s belt guide the wearer to their desired end location. The wearer will feel a vibration on the right or left side of the jeans and the geological information is synced to the wearer’s smartphone via Bluetooth. With the advanced jeans, wearers can detect the proper path to work or another destination without consulting another GPS device.
As most traditional retail remains unappealing to consumers, wearables could also be a potential solution for struggling apparel brands. Wearables enhance a garment’s value and provide the wow factor that is absent from most clothing sold online or at brick-and-mortar locations. As shown with CES 2017, fashion and technology could bring power to a garment, without compromising style and wellness.
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