Every innovation shall have an objective to solve a real problem.
Textile industry has quite a long history. I would think every possible innovation has already been done 10+ years ago. Until I have my quick dry running tank top, I realize there are still improvements. I'm far from a textile expert. The claimed quick dry textile may just be made of nylon and be a market term. However, to my experience, it does give a better wearing experience than the old nylon made T-shirt. It dries fast and more important, it doesn't stink as bad as when I wear cotton tank top. So, innovation opportunities in textile industry exist.
Now, with wearable, I'm sure the opportunities are tremendous. The challenge is what is the problem we are trying to solve. A fry that can zip itself sounds nice. A shirt that will maintain preferable temperature like a wearable A/C will surely sell. Opportunities exist. We need to ask ourselves which direction to take in smart clothes.
Improving the necessary feature of the product is a good idea. But just putting music or sound in clothing, I do not this is of much use. Wearable that has very less weight, shirt remains cool even in high temperature these will be required feature and will be improving living, simply putting speakers and microprocessor inside cloths will be waste of electronics and increasing electronic waste.
Fashion has a bit different focus. The problem to solve is how to make the wearer look or in this case sound cool. Wearable a are going to probably be fad driven for a while until the costs come down and as you say, a 'real' problem is being solved.
We can make fabric change color based on the mood of the person then it will be super cool. It really need a couple of sensors to sense the mood and nanocomposite materials to incorporate in the fabric.
In the picture with title "Researcher at Aalto university...", the fabric pattern remind of some news related to incorporating solar energy absorbing material into the fabric and using it as a charging device. Maybe another cool idea to pursue.
Instead of changing the color by the mood, the actual need especially for women is to have the perfect match between the whatever is worn as top , with whatever is worn as bootom, plus the footwear, the handwear , the earings and all that stuff.
If the smart wear can solve this problem of matching, without having to have overspilling wardrobes and without the women spenind hours in front of mirrors , that I will call a SMART WEAR.
I believe that sounds created by clothing need to be carefully considered to respect to the rest of the public. While boom boxes in the subway are intrusive, headphones allow many people to listen to their (different) music in private. I trust that the clothing sound systems will be designed to provide a personal listening experience and that any public "broadcast" mode will be reserved for special occasions (such as providing music at a party).
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