Wearable technology: The next phase in personalised clothing?



Technology is advancing far quicker than we could ever imagine and our perception of personalised clothing, such as custom sportswear, is changing along with it. Just when we thought smartwatches and activity trackers were among the newest technologies available, smart clothing is starting to take centre stage, and both tech and sports fanatics alike are going crazy for them.

A personalised customer experience has become the focal point for technology developers and retailers. The need to facilitate the customer experience to the point where the customer needn’t even speak a word nor require more than their thumb print and phone to process a payment has been realised and it almost seems strange to imagine a world without such conveniences.

However, may it be possible that these will soon be a thing of the past? Will we progress to a point where we need nothing more than the clothes on our back to pay for our grocery shopping? Or even progress to the point where our very sportswear acts as a better yoga instructor than a human being? Well, believe it or not, this may already be a reality. Read on to find out exactly how both fashion retailers and technology developers are making revolutionary changes to the personalised customer experience as well as impacting the way in which clothing monitors our health and fitness.


Project Jacquard

Imagine being able to dismiss a phone call, get directions or change the song you’re listening to, all with the flick of a wrist. Well, thanks to a joint collaboration between Google and Levi Strauss, all this and more will soon be a reality with Project Jacquard.  Project Jacquard is among some of the newest releases in connected personalised clothing; smart clothing that is revolutionising the fashion industry by essentially turning what you’re wearing into the equivalent of a smartphone touchscreen. Completely turning the idea of personalised jackets on its head, right?

So, exactly how does this work? Well, Google and Levi’s have produced a conductive yarn that combines metallic alloys with yarns, such as cotton, polyester and even silk.

Take a look at this video to see how the personalised jacket looks and how it can be used.

In the case of Project Jacquard, this interactive yarn has been used to build touch and gesture sensitive areas on the sleeve and other parts of the garment. The fibres are linked to a detachable smart tag which sits on the cuff and provides connectivity to your smartphone. This can be removed and plug straight into a USB port to charge it up.

Some of the main interactive features include dismissing phone calls by swiping over the sleeve, controlling messages, double tapping to get directions, swiping up to see nearby places and swiping down to change music playing from your phone. It is compatible with Google Maps, Google Play and third party services like Spotify and Strava.

The jacket should be hitting the shelves by the end of the year so keep an eye out for this truly revolutionary product. We’re pretty excited!

Lumo Run

When thinking about personalised shorts, let’s be honest, sometimes nothing quite compares to an embroidered logo or screen printed design. However, personalised clothing that records and uses your data to maximise your potential as an athlete is pretty cool. Lumo have found a way to use technology to transform the way we train in the form of personalised shorts or custom leggings. Lumo Run is the latest advance in wearable technology.

The Lumo Run is a personal running coach built into small sensor clips that clip onto any pair of shorts or even leggings. It connects to your smartphone, and through headphones, it delivers real-time audio insights into your running, which help improve form and reduce the chances of injury. After your workout, it displays your results on your smartphone and gives further tips and advice for what went well and how you can improve.

The sensor itself keeps things simple with its design. There’s a small compartment at the bottom that hides away the microUSB charging port and a single LED notification light, which indicates whether it has enough battery to track a run. The Lumo Run is due to be released 21 October.

Nadi X

By now you’re probably blown away by some of these advances in connected clothing, but trust us, it gets better. Let us introduce you to Nadi X, created by the Wearable X team. These trousers are specifically designed for yoga practice and through developments in haptic technology, Wearable X is moving away from screen-based technology, thus giving wearers their eyes back. With the advancement of sensors and actuators working in tandem to create force feedback, Wearable X is taking advantage and creating wearable technology that interacts with the wearer outside of the visual and auditory.

The Nadi X garments utilise embedded technology which can detect what pose you’re in and in turn guide you with gentle pushes through the hips, knees and ankles so that you can get the most out of your yoga sessions, without hiring an instructor.

But all you yogis out there can rest assured, the Wearable X team travelled the globe to ensure they had the best intel on yoga practice and have programmed everything they learned into this new product. They worked with yogis across three different countries: the USA, Australia and Sri Lanka to ensure that their product would be the optimal product for yoga practice. They also used this intel to decide where the pulse should be located so that they weren’t creating an intrusive product, rather one that aids yoga practice.

Wearable technology is now a reality and it marks a truly exciting advancement for the digital age. We are now seeing personalised clothing that revolutionises user experience and reduces the need for visual and auditory interaction. When one considers that this is just the beginning, one can only imagine what the future has to hold.

However, one thing is certain – no matter how advanced clothing may become, Garment Printing will always find a way to personalise a garment to its maximum potential, and thus keeping our promise to create impressions that last! We are always at the front of developing opportunities, as can be seen with our work with Orange Mobile Phone and Saatchi & Saatchi, where printed T Shirts that help charge your mobile phone were created. Traditional T-Shirt printing will always find a place alongside emerging technologies, so stay tuned to our blog or get in touch. Maybe we can help you and your business take an idea to the next level.

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