I love new technology, especially items that multi-task. Clothing is no exception; outdoor clothing often performs more than one function such as 4-in-1 jackets. This year, clothing and technology have combined to allow consumers to get the most for their dollars and have fun at the same time. I’ll share the list of items I found with you. Some are whimsical, while others are already on the market and a lot have proven track records already.
Pants That Charge Cell Phones
Adrien Sauvage, a 31-year old British fashion designer has come up with a unique idea. Instead of trying to pack a phone and charger inside a pants pocket, he came up with the idea of integrating a cell phone charger into the pants themselves. Unfortunately, they’re not machine washable- yet.
It works through inductive charging, which utilizes electromagnetic fields to transfer energy between the charger and phone battery.
Solar Backpacks That Charge Electronics
Several companies offer backpacks today that incorporate solar panels and charging adapters that allow users to carry and charge electronics simultaneously. Prices and technology varies among manufacturers.
Solar Cooling Hats
Baseball-style hats incorporating fans and solar panels have been on the market for nearly 20 years. Some are better than others; most are reasonably priced. The cooling effect occurs through evaporative cooling. This is the effect of the breeze drying sweat from the face and neck, which makes the skin feel cooler.
Coats And Dresses
Solar panels have been incorporated into dresses and leather coats by an ingenious team in the Netherlands at Gelderland Valoriseert, a creative agency and students at The University Of Applied Sciences At Nijmegen. The leather jacket has flat solar panels while the dress incorporates flexible models.
To charge, wearers simply unfold flaps to allow the sun’s rays to strike the panels, providing electricity for charging cell phones and other small electronics. When items are charged, the panels are folded away inside flaps.
Two companies, LG and Google have introduced items that bring the classic comic, “Dick Tracy,” to reality. Detective Dick Tracy had a radio that he wore on his wrist, saving him the trouble of carrying a radio. These two companies have gone much further.
The LG G Watch has a 1.6 inch screen, has 4GB of memory and connects to other devices that have Android 4.3 or later as well as blue tooth connectivity. Instead of buttons or a stylus, it uses voice commands. LG is taking advance orders for $229, which is lower than a good watch.
Other smart watches on the horizon is the Android Wear, the Samsung Gear Live and the Motorola Moto 360. While I don’t believe they’ll take the place of a good Rolex, they’ll certainly be the “next best thing.”
Our clothing evolves along with our technology and need to innovate. Imagine walking in the park while your phone battery is low and plugging it into your shirt or pants. Better still, imagine that during some disaster you need to charge a phone or notebook so you can call for help and plug it into your jacket.
Not all new ideas are bad; some are downright interesting. Wearable technology is going to be very interesting indeed.
Source: The author of this article has over 40 years of experience in diverse subjects and skills such as DIY, home improvement and repair, crafting, designing, and building furniture, outdoor projects, RV’ing and more.
Source: Eric Mack, “Google Launches Android Wear, Hoping For A Wearable Revolution,” Gizmag website, June 24, 2014
Source: David Szondy, “LG’s G Watch Is Official, Ships In Early July For US $229,” Gizmag website, June 24, 2014
Source: Rebecca Burn-Callandar, “The World’s First Phone-Charging Pants Are Here,” Business Insider website, June 14, 2014
Source: Nic Halverson, “Wearable Solar Clothing Fit For Charging,” Discovery website, June 25, 2013