Digital technology has permeated nearly every element of our lives. There is one industry however, that hasn’t broken through yet.
The fashion industry has defined trends for centuries, but if you really pay attention as of late; recycling of past trends has become a trend.
Similar to Hollywood with remakes and reboots, the fashion industry takes inspiration from previous iterations and puts a modern spin on them.
Nostalgia is lovely and all, but my guess is that we are reaching peak creativity.
For kids and young adults seeing a style from the 90’s make a comeback can be exciting, but for people with real money to spend; there’s truly an untapped market for wearable tech that’s underserved.
Behind the scenes the fashion industry is using advance technology to bring their clothes to market faster, using A.I. to predict trends and employing robots in place of the sweatshops that have gotten brands like Nike into hot water along with internet fast fashion company Fashion Nova.
What we still aren’t seeing is fashion and technology on human bodies. The Apple watch and its competitors are sort of that convergence, but we’d hardly call that fashion.
You can also argue Nike’s Vaporfly is a step towards the right direction. The Vaporfly shoe is now banned from professional marathons due to its measured enhancement of the human capability by 4%.
That simple 4% increase netted the first ever sub-two hour marathon by Eliud Kipchoge and the women’s marathon record being decimated by Kenyan Brigid Kosgei. Both were wearing Vaporfly’s which were promptly banned by the World Athletics, the sports governing body.
So what could fashion-tech look like?
I’d imagine there would be a functional component to it, jeans with nano-fibers that increase the strength of your legs. Shirts that harness the suns energy to use for cell phone chargers or helmets that not only filter out viruses, but act as heads up displays.
Google Glass and SNAP Spectacles both tried, but failed. Partly due to cost and partly due to technology that didn’t prove itself necessary.
How about a fully computerized sleeve that monitors your vitals at all times, feeding that information back to an A.I. powered computer that determines your nutritional requirements for your day.
Take it a step further and we could have designer limbs in the future. There’s already technology that enables prosthetic limbs to be controlled by the host bodies existing nerves.
So, I can’t imagine it being out of the realm of possibility that in a hundred years or so people will pay to upgrade their limbs for prosthetics that enhance overall capability or aesthetics.
My favorite is the fully connected helmet a la Daft Punk that not only filters all of your air, but is constantly scanning your surrounding for relevant information as and when needed. This helmet would operate through Elon Musk’s Neuralink, therefore taking plug and play to a whole different level.
So much of this is future technology, but the underpinning research is already underway and the time where technology and humans converge completely isn’t too far away.
Today our children are tethered to tablets and smartphones, in the future there will be technologically enhanced humans. However strange that sounds, fighting it will be similar to those who still use flip phones.
No one will knock you for it, but you will definitely be at a disadvantage.