Fashion, Wearable Technology and IoT

Fashion meets Technology

In technology news, we hear a lot about the latest trends like IoT, data analysis, wearable technology and artificial intelligence. Businesses are seeing huge advantages in being able to run and optimize their operations with real time data from the field and combining that with smart predictive modeling for fast decision making. For many of us, these are also becoming part of our everyday life. We like the ease of controlling our homes the smart way or tracking our (attempt at) healthy lifestyle habits.

This month I had the pleasure of attending an exciting Breakfast Tech Talk in NYC that brought some of the mentioned examples very close to home. Several innovative start-up companies gave their presentations, and the first discussion was a data analytics platform. As it was the start of New York Fashion Week, we were introduced to some IOS and Android user profiles, based on their search behavior. IOS users are more fond of brands like Gucci and Luis Vuitton, while Android users prefer sporty brands like Nike. The profiling can go much deeper than our fashion sense, so a valid question came up – do these platforms and search engines know us better than we know ourselves?

Probably yes, but that is also when security and privacy come to play. It has been a vital point and source of many discussions in the development and technology community so I won’t go more into it here. What I found interesting in this discussion was the machine's ability to analyze and understand the texts as a concept, not only based on selected keywords. These sophisticated algorithms can be put into use for example in content placement and driving purchase intent for an online store. Intelligent.

Let’s then think about an everyday fashion meets technology use case that many parents I assume are very familiar with. And I’m not only talking about those mornings when the new yellow shorts are suddenly so uncool. It’s our tech savvy kids who are spending more time on their smartphones and tablets than playing outside and being active. We don’t want to take away their screen time completely as it is beneficial to master the tech skills, so a long standing kids apparel manufacturer came up with a solution to combine the two.

Anyone who grew up in a Scandinavian climate like me remembers and still appreciates the all-weather gear, and now it is paired with technology known from one of my favorite hobby gadgets – wrist computers for diving. This wearable product is designed for kids and parents or day care centers who want to motivate children into active play, so it comes with a mobile game. And the activity points collected by the tiny monitor chip then lets “players” advance to the next level in the game. It already shows that kids have collectively come up with new ways to play together to increase their activity level. I wouldn’t mind playing with this kind of technology myself!

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