In this fast changing world, everything has started connected to the cloud which helps the designers and brands reshaping the fashion industry by meeting it with technology. As more and more people are getting intertwined with the digital world, brands are pushing their limits of manufacturing, production, marketing and wearability. From the latest in artificial intelligence to the boom of mobile commerce, 3D printing and blockchain, we’ve rounded some of the top tech advancements being used in fashion today.
The next generation materials and novel fabrics are in the future of fashion.
As the facts are showing that eco leather is not a very sustainable option, startups like Modern Meadow are creating lab-grown leather without harming animals. Companies like Bolt Threads and EntoGenetics are innovating super-strong spider silk.
IOT (INTERNET OF THINGS)
The Internet of Things (IoT) enables data sharing, inventory management, security, and increased efficiency and productivity. Many businesses consider IoT in improving their customer experience.
This includes apparel with digital capabilities, like smart clothing, wearable spaces, multi-functional designs, responsive sportswear and more. Take for example NADI X, yoga pants that have built-in sensors to correct the users’ posture by vibrating as they move through yoga poses or; Hexoskin, for instance, tracks your heart rate and temperature. They also manufacture socks that count steps, calories and other data.
Another interesting example of the internet of things being incorporated in apparel is LOOMIA. The San Francisco-based textile company creates soft flexible circuits that can be embedded into textiles for heating, lighting, sensing or data-tracking applications.
VIRTUAL AUGMENTED REALITY (VR)
Some companies using AR and VR in interesting ways include:
OBSESS, a platform that allows brands and retailers to create to serve 3D 360 shopping experiences on their websites, mobile apps and social channels via a 3D Commerce Cloud.
AVAMETRIC which enables brands to render real clothing virtually in 3D and also to customize them on digital body models for web, mobile, and AR.
VIRTUSIZE enables online fashion retailers to virtually illustrate the size to find the accurate fit for the products their customers choose.
Digital knitting has also been making great strides in the 3D printing and offering a myriad of customization possibilities. For example manufacturers like Shima Seiki can turn cones of yarn into a full, seamless garment in less than an hour. Meanwhile Ze-Nitis creates digitally knitted urban wear that allows for functionalities and benefits to be placed where the body needs it the most.
Blockchain is a great tool for transparency, traceability and efficiency in the supply chain. It allows all of its members, from carriers and banks, to intermediaries and suppliers to be connected and exchange information, documents and data, directly and securely.
But what is blockchain and how does it work?
It’s mostly known as the record-keeping technology behind bitcoin and digital currency. “Blocks” on the blockchain are made up of digital pieces of data that store information about transactions like the date, time, and dollar amount of your most recent purchase and who is participating in the transactions. But they also store information that distinguishes them from other blocks using a unique code called hash.
In recent years, brands have been using AI to enhance customers’ shopping experience, analyze data, boost sales, forecast trends and offer inventory-related guidance, among many other things.
Take for example, chatbots and touchscreens being used in stores to improve customer experience and customized product suggestions. What’s more, if we combine inventory tracking with AI’s powerful data prediction tools for trend forecasting, brands could have a significant competitive advantage.
One interesting example is Intellingence Node, which allows users to track trends in real-time, specific keywords entered by customers, user navigation patterns, price points and more. Intellingence Node AI-driven search discovery platform also tracks the exact or closest matches to your product, which can provide invaluable insights about competitive differentiators.