Frank Lloyd Wright, one of the most iconic architects of the 20th Century, talked about the union of form and function. “Form follows function – that has been misunderstood. Form and function should be one, joined in a spiritual union.”
Frank Lloyd Wright was one of the poets of modern architecture, interjecting art and imagination to “avoid the flat monotony he loathed in the towers of his modernist peers,” as author Anthony Paletta writes for 1843 Magazine.
Wearable tech is currently in the middle of an innovative new wave, similar to what Wright and the Taliesin architects were doing to modern architecture. There’s so much more to the intersection of fashion and technology than simply stitching a smart sensor into some athleisure.
Here are 5 techwear brands you should really keep an eye on, for a glimpse of what the future of fashionable technology.
5 Techwear Brands Combining Form and Function
Wearable tech is finally emerging from beneath the shadow of the Jetsons future we’ve been imagining. It’s so much more than jetpacks and bubble helmets!
From state-of-the-art jean jackets to chameleon-esque outerwear and accessories, here are a few of the most exciting techwear brands to keep an eye on.
The name Levi’s tends to evoke associations with classic Retro Americana, like Malt Shops and James Dean. You might be surprised to learn that the popular jeans manufacturer is leading the way for hands-free technology for bicyclists, in conjunction with Google.
Levi’s Commuter X Jacquard Trucker jacket solves two dilemmas at the same time. One, how can a bicyclist control their radio, phone, or ask for directions without using their hands? Two, how can they do so while also looking slick?
The Commuter X Jacquard solves both of these problems at once. It features a conducive yard in the let wrist, allowing for touch control of a number of Bluetooth-enabled control. It also looks hip, slick, and modern while doing so.
The dream of chameleon-like color-shifting clothing has been around as long as humanity has been dreaming of combining style and technology. After all, who hasn’t dreamed of wearing a swirling, shifting, abstract kaleidoscope?
In 2015, this dream became a reality when The Unseen’s creator and dream architect Lauren Bowker created a collection for London’s Selfridges. Even better still, Bowker’s creations were even brought to market, with an imaginative array of accessories, no less, like phone cases or a backpack.
The Unseen’s color-shifting fashion responds to a wide array of environmental factors, from temperature to wind to light levels. Their alligator bag, for instance, changes with the seasons. It’s black in the winter to red in the spring and blue in the summer.
Technology is bringing humanity closer to the natural world with innovative new applications like The Unseen’s collection for Selfridges. We’ll be changing colors and maybe even shapes and sizes before we know it!
Emel + Aris
To be worthy of inclusion among the best wearable tech, you need to be doing something a lot more interesting than simply monitoring heart rate or syncing with social media. It also needs to look good. It needs to be noteworthy as wearable and technology.
Emel + Aris check both of these boxes with their striking, imaginative outerwear. Its idea is simple but the implementation and application are anything but.
Emel + Aris’ smart technology doesn’t look like futuristic fashion. Their smart, chic streamlined coats feature state-of-the-art heating technology, however, which is made all the more bold and striking by the fact that it features next-to-no wires. Instead, the garment produces FIR, or far infrared, heat energy from panels across the jacket’s inside.
The infrared heat is then stored and released via a simple push of a button. It’s essentially centralized heat for your winter jacket while looking stunning at the same time.
The Emel + Aris winter jacket is one of the most practical and functional wearable tech products yet.
Augmented reality is one of the hottest and fastest-growing sectors of the technological market. Considering how important sports are to so many uber-fans’ lives, it stands to reason that a wearable tech jersey would be one of the first garments to emerge.
We just didn’t anticipate Wearable Experiments’ innovative, immersive approach to helping fans feel the action they’re seeing on-screen.
Wearable Experiments’ football jerseys feature a series of haptic sensors that connect via Bluetooth. The wearer can then feel the impact of every major play as they happen via the haptic sensors. That’s not where it stops, either. You could theoretically feel the race of your favorite player’s pulse, for instance, as they rest after a play.
This is a major breakthrough for not only wearable technology and augmented reality, but the future of smart entertainment as a whole. Think of the applications this technology could have.
You could experience the sweat and adrenaline of your favorite action film. You could feel the passion and excitement of historical dramas, helping to bring the past to life.
Wearable Experiment’s connective jerseys could even help inspire sports fans to become athletes, themselves. Once you get used to the racing pulse and adrenaline of the Friday Night Lights, it’d be a quick jump to actually playing the sports themselves.
Now that you know a bit more about what to expect from the future of techy clothes, you’ll want to know how to accessorize. Make sure you know how to apply mascara to complete your tech-noir look.
Wearable tech is finally coming into its own. It’s even more exciting than the jetpacks and spacesuits we were hoping for! We can’t wait to see what this exciting new trend has in store for us and what the future will bring especially when big brands like Velvet Caviar are jumping into the scene.
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