Friday, March 24, 2006

Wearable Technology

Expect fashion and technology to merge in the future, according to this Forbes article:

According to Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst of Port Washington, New York-based NPD Group, wearable technology still accounts for less than 1 percent of the U.S. fashion industry's retail sales. Although this sector is still in its infancy, the fashion industry as a whole is exhibiting solid growth. Last year, total U.S. apparel sales reached $181 billion, an almost 4 percent increase from 2004.

However, Cohen says wearable technology will eventually become a basic commodity, much like bluejeans. "Why buy a basic pair of khakis when future ones will be able to keep your legs warm with heating coils built into the lining? The future of technology in fiber and products is only a few years away."

As usual, expect to see wearable tech and smart clothing first adopted by fringe groups such as skiers and students before the concepts catch on with the mainstream. NPD expects that ski-wear and active-wear companies, such as Nike, Columbia Sportswear, Adidas and Timberland, will be the most likely to drive development. Last year, Adidas released Adidas 1 footwear, a running shoe with an embedded microchip that monitors the terrain underfoot and accordingly adjusts the level of shock absorption provided by the shoe's heel.

Read it all here.

[HT: ]

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