Imagine a world where everything is connected, interactive and responsive. Where things that you wear, love and use in your everyday life are also connected to your digital life and have features that make life easier and more enjoyable.
Today the fashion industry is in the midst of a digital revolution. Wearable technology has been gaining momentum for years and is on the cusp of taking hold in mainstream society. This entails that a broad range of digital features will be seamlessly integrated into everyday things. One such technology is Jacquard by Google, the first full-scale digital platform created for smart clothing. The platform streamlines the way services and information are accessed by putting it right into the materials you already wear and use, such as apparel, shoes and accessories.
The platform consists of hardware and software components that can be easily integrated into partner products within the existing supply chain. Designed to be extendable, Jacquard can support many future interactions that will modify consumer behaviour. A fashion object can be improved from one season to the next through software updates, preventing it from becoming last season’s look. Instead of using design as a mechanism to craft intentional obsolescence, the Jacquard platform proposes new digital fashion by providing digital services to consumers, using apparel as a distribution platform. With Jacquard-enabled products, people will be able to control music, receive rideshare alerts or get directions using various touch gestures to activate digital services.
Wearable technology, such as Jacquard, introduces a new approach to sustainable design for the fashion industry. By considering the potential for garments with evolving digital value, we can imagine a future where informed consumption and responsible ownership confront the fast fashion paradigm and its harmful environmental impact. However, for wearable technology to succeed, it is key to create a unified user experience and provide seamless support and updates to these digital features at the right cost.