As we all know, not all women’s bodies are created equal, and not all clothes are created equal either. I always have trouble finding jeans that fit my long legs while also fitting my hips. And let me tell you, I don’t know anything more heartbreaking than when I find the perfect pair of jeans and they legitimately fit in the weirdest proportions.
These “smart leggings” have embedded stretch sensors in them to take measurements of the upper and lower thigh, upper and higher hips, the inseam, and the waist.
Once the user puts on the leggings, all they need to do is press a button in the front, the sensors in the leggings take measurements and BOOM the stats are sent to an app on your smartphone.
The application then brings up a screen with the user’s measurements along with jean brands and styles that are consistent with the user’s shape.
Also, the user can easily write down their measurements to provide to a sales person and to find the perfect jeans while they’re at the mall. Which to me is absolutely amazing and mind-boggling.
Tom Moynihan writes in Wired that this new type of wearable technology is the new platform for communication. Since the Apple Watch came out and showed the public how Siri and other functions can use technology to change the way that we live every day life, Borre Akkersdijk has begun the same type of evolution using clothes.
Over the years, Akkersidjk has reimagined many clothing designs to incorporate WiFi routers, input devices, and air purifiers.
Yes, you read the right, air purifiers.
In this way, Akkersdijk is creating truly wearable technology with clothing as opposed to the Apple Watch, which he considers a ‘carryable’ due to the nature of it being a watch. AKA, it’s an additional piece of technology rather than clothes which are worn every day.
Akkersdijk’s method of using a circular knitting machine originally created for making mattresses made his creations thick. Because of this, embedded and protecting sensors became easy.
Methods like this helped make inventions such as the ‘Like a Glove’ leggings possible. Because there wasn’t external evidence that technology was inside the clothes, it made the success of products like these more appealing to the public.
However, there’s still the problem of the thickness of the material that would potentially make it difficult to attract consumers to use ‘wearables’ as a daily clothing item.
As for the leggings themselves, it makes me slightly nervous buying a product and trusting that it can provide real and accurate measurements.
However, the article I read about the product is from October 2015, and since we’re early in 2016, I’m sure we’re bound to see great advancements and improved technology in the years to come.
Overall, this type of technology and conceptual ideas are revolutionary to the world in general. Not only is this a completely new realm of the fashion industry, but it could revolutionize the way we track productivity at work.
Mădălina Ciobanu documents in her article, these types of wearable technologies were being tested by a professor at Goldsmiths University located in London for their correlation with people’s performance and productivity.
Therefore, instead of just looking for aesthetics and practicality of clothes, people will start to consider what the clothes offers them in terms of technology and the future implications.
Furthermore, it will lead to more inventions like the ‘Like a Glove’ leggings that inherently change the shopping process into a more exact process. For, it offers consumers the opportunity to not only receive their exact measurements to de-stress the shopping process in finding the perfect fit, but it also accelerates the process and removes frustrations.
Maybe in the future it will help us in the workplace in productive ways more so than simply the providing a “business casual look”.
What technology woven into our clothing will we see next? The next smartphone? Who knows.