We take a look at the latest technologies being used in outdoor and fitness garments and how these enable you to connect with your customers the smart way
When was the last time you used your smartphone to actually make a phone call? Chances are, it’s probably the least used day-to-day feature you have on your phone. Instead the technology opportunities and advancement it offers are much more a part of our lives. Apps to track our health, how far we’ve run and the location of loved ones, social media, emails, WhatsApping and even paying for things – all of these get our fingers tapping much more. And that integration into our lives is now seeping into our clothing choices and purchases.
Swiss mountaineering brand Mammut has caught onto this consumer trend with its new Connect app. Why attach hangtags to your clothes instore when you could integrate a chip into the very garment itself. A chip which unlocks not only clothing details, but also a whole raft of advanced features that last the lifetime of the product?
Mammut asks its customers to download the free app onto their phones before shopping. Hover over the chip in store and you get access to a virtual hangtag naming the product, detailing the activities it’s most suited to and giving inspiration on how, where and why to wear it.
Buy the product and when you get home, you can also extend your garment’s warranty to five years for free. And by doing so you then unlock a host of other features – including access to Mammut’s alpine school where you can plan hiking, climbing and ski touring routes and learn about avalanche safety; read behind the scenes stories and news; watch videos from Mammut athletes; and save your favourite mountaineering routes with your own photographs attached.
In a bid to combat counterfeiting it also enables you to verify your product’s authenticity throughout the process. Thereby giving you piece of mind over what you’ve bought.
But they’re not the only ones developing this idea of smartphone integration in clothing. In fact, American company WearableX has taken it one step further. Their yoga leggings have embedded haptic sensors which actually guide your body through vibrations and accelerometers on the hips, knees and ankles to help instruct you on how to move.
On a similar health note, Sensoria is a built-in sensor that allows athletes to monitor their performance with extreme precision through their clothing or footwear. Telling you how far, fast and well you have run! Paired with their app, you can follow training plans, or integrate with existing platforms like Strava.
On the more ‘fun’ side of things are colour changing clothes. Not the original Hypercolour you’re thinking of, but a new fabric thread technology called ChroMorphous which allows you to change the colour and pattern of your clothing using your smartphone. No more worrying over whether you’re turning up to a party in the same dress as someone else! Prototypes are being developed at the moment and eventually it could be developed to let your clothes tell you whether you have missed a phone call or message.
Very soon we will all have to resort to sitting around the house naked to get our digital detox!