Technology has moved beyond wireless and pocketable to wearable. Clothes and accessories can serve a wider range of purposes than we’re currently accustomed to. Wearable technology produced by a Finnish smart clothing R&D center and its partners is selling well.
The smart clothing and wearable technology concepts are based on a permanent integration of clothing and technology. Clothes can be made ‘smart’ by adding intelligent features such as information technology and by using special fibres which react in unconventional ways. Wearable technology is close to the body and enables technology to be used in situations where it’s normally not possible. For example, the user interface can be a mobile phone which is integrated into a jacket in such a way that no dialing is required and, thereby, handsfree communication is possible during an action activity such as snowboarding.
In Finland the R&D center Clothing+ was established three years ago to explore the possibilities of wearable technology, especially smart clothing. The interdisciplinary enterprise also produces and supplies components and systems of wearable technology. “Production processes of integrating hard electronics and soft textiles are quite a challenge,” notes Akseli Reho, Director of Research at Clothing+. “Our clients include large clothing and technology companies around the world.”
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