August 8, 2013

Ubiquitous Influences

Technology is pretty much our most predominant driver as it continues to advance in the apparel industry with wearable technology and other devices blurring the lines between the natural world (actual objects) and computing. With that said, the collaboration of fashion, retail, and technology not only keeps us at the forefront in our thinking habits, but will produce endless possibilities all around. Today, we not only want to discuss this evolution, but by taking it a step further, what does this mean for the fashion industry and what does the future hold?

Forget actual computers, and soon even mobile technology will be a thing of the past as we introduce a new shift called "everywhere computing." Despite mobile technology still in developmental stages, as we continue to demand smaller and stronger devices, technology will further be integrated into almost every component of our daily lives, making it always accessible. From the home appliances we use to the clothes we wear to the cars we drive and even the human body itself, the era of ubiquitous computing is just around the corner. While today we very easily have the ability to separate the real world with the digital one, this won't always be true and one day maybe impossible.

photo via WWD

Wearable technology is just one of the ways, these innovations are being embedded in our daily lives. This new trend will change the way our industry operates, the degrees we obtain and the jobs available. Just a few weeks ago, Apple announced that former YSL CEO Paul Deneve, will be jumping on board to assist on "special projects." With an extensive background in the luxury market and a resume that includes the likes of Courréges, Nina Ricci, and Lanvin, it is no surprise Apple has enlisted Deneve to help drive their most recent break into wearables, like Nike's Fuelband, Google Glasses, and even their rumored iWatch. While right now, both industries feed off each other's expertise, the wearables market is set to explode over the next three to five years with expectations reaching up to $50 billion. This may eventually call for a greater demand of both style and science, resulting in the merger of fashion and tech jobs into one.

photo via

Right now we are at a point where anything we dream up is practically at our fingertips. With pjs that contain bedtime stories, a dress that turns invisible when the user lies, or sun protective clothing, we really are at the forefront of experimenting and creating things to make our lives easier and more comfortable. As the lines of reality continue to blur, the more technology will be able to know what we feel and want, sometimes before we even do. With access to our entire digital lives (scanning emails, location, calendars, news, etc), apps are being developed with the sole purpose to keep life running as smooth as possible. Whether it's being notified of a delayed flight or a changed meeting, this will eventually be integrated into everything from mirrors to refrigerators.

photo via The NY Times

Despite all these new gadgets and gizmos, the ironic thing is, as technology gets more advanced, there will also be a greater need to safeguard our identities from it as well. That's where stealth wear comes in, clothing designed to protect from detection and surveillance. Whether you want to reduce your thermal footprint through reflective fabric or own a LED purse that is activated when unwanted photos are being taken, these prototypes prove that it's worth taking our privacy a little more into consideration. Todd Blatt, a mechanical engineer, is literally working on a counteractive accessory to Google's Glasses, that protects people who don't want to be recorded while talking to a user.

If you think you depend on technology too much now, just wait for the day when there is no checking out, turning off, or silencing option. Eventually, it will be thoroughly integrated into everything we use in our daily lives to not only make things simpler and faster, but make us as efficient as possible. While, we are excited for all these new innovations, we are not quite ready to surrender the natural world and should we be? With unlimited access, how can we protect ourselves from being completely dependent on the devices we use? Either way, technology is getting smarter and more and more ubiquitous so we need to find a balance between the access it wants and the privacy we need soon.

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