The earliest and the most rudimentary innovation for creating clothes is the loinloom, followed by handlooms and sewing machines. Industrial revolution spurred fast fashion as wardrobes spilled over with t-shirts in every colour.
Now, AI-powered technology, a move towards conscious consumption and smart accessories will determine fashion buys, says a new report titled, The Future Of Fashion: From Design To Merchandising, How Tech Is Reshaping The Industry, released by CB Insights in October. CB insights publishes technology trends for start-ups and venture capitalists.
The report highlights several intriguing technology-related factors and garments that will influence the fashion industry, spotlighting what we will wear and why.
AI to be the next top designer
Technology giants such as Google and Amazon are using machine learning to decode whether a garment will appeal to prospective buyers. Last year in April 2019, an AI-powered fashion designer named DeepVogue secured the second rank and was adjusted as the winner of the People’s Choice Award at China’s International Fashion Design Innovation competition. The brainchild behind this product is a China-based technology firm named Shenlan Technology. It uses deep learning to create designs based on themes and keywords imported by human designers. Although further trial runs are needed to find if this product will be successful, there is no denying the possibility that the next best designer might be an AI-driven entity.
Smart fitting rooms
Physical retail stores will evolve to include trial rooms powered by virtual reality (VR). You won’t have to go through the drudgery of multiple trials. These rooms will allow shoppers to feed in their size details and requirement to find the clothes best suited to their tastes. Obsess is one such start-up that’s helping create a VR experience for stores. They participated at Walmart’s Innov8 VR competition and created such a store for Rebecca Minkoff. Neha Singh, Founder and CEO of Obsess, believes the future of shopping will combine some elements of what physical stores have today, like visual merchandising and curated garments, but it will be augmented with technology.
Gesture-sensing jackets and wearable technology
First there were smart phones, followed by smart watches, and now there are smart clothes. Levi’s and Google partnered in 2017 to launch a line of tech-enabled denim jackets that identify gestures and can perform various acts, such as picking the next song in a playlist or declining phone calls. The material for these jackets were developed by Google. They are hyper-thin conductive metal alloys woven into natural and synthetic fibers and embedded with sensors. These jackets can be cleaned in a washing machine, too. The clothing label Baubax has developed a jacket that can charge your phone. Meanwhile, sporting brands like Nike are testing smart shoes to control the fit of shoe laces.
These products might sound too outlandish, but, if fashion shows can go digital and watches can track heartbeats, talking to your jacket will not be considered bizzare human behaviour in the near future.