When we normally think of wearable tech, we think of what is currently rising in popularity: wrist gadgets.
While this is all well and good, people are curious about other gadgets and the kind of wearable technology that we actually WEAR– as in, clothing. For over 10 years, we’ve watched Tony Stark don the Iron Man Suit and the various iterations.
We saw most recently in the Black Panther movie and the first Avengers movie, nano-tech suits that would cover their entire body and “build” the suit in real time (seconds, otherwise, what good is it– you stand there for a half hour while the bad guy beats you to death).
Tony’s latest nanosuit for IronMan first appeared in Avengers: Infinity War and was a visual delight showing us an amazing future if such nanotechnology becomes available at some point.
Wrapping your body in technology may have captured our collective imaginations, but these are 5 wearable tech innovations (both available and in the near future) that even Iron Man himself would have been proud to call his own and will someday have an inevitable impact on our lives.
1. Lenses 20/20 People Will Someday Be Jealous Of
Imagine Being able to have ONE pair of glasses and even share those glasses with anyone. “Can I borrow your glasses?” someone asks– “sure, what’s your prescription?” They pop the numbers into a smartphone app and boom– the lenses adjust themselves to the proper prescription–or they just do it automatically. This goes way beyond automatically sensing the need for sunglasses and darkening, not to mention the coming wave of smart glasses. Google Glass kinda bombed, but it proved there’s a market and Google Glass2 is apparently making more waves could come out later this year. Other companies have seen there is certainly a hungry market for hands-free visual information and are feverishly working on releasing market-ready AND stylish options.
2. Fabric That Can Change Color Like a Chameleon
This is far beyond the gimmicky fabric that changes with heat. Researchers at the University of Michigan are exploring a membrane of tiny crystals that react differently depending on the various light wavelengths. This causes the fabric to change color. So, Captain Marvel’s green suit changing to the color of her choice isn’t as “alien” a concept anymore. Obviously, the military is interested in “active camouflage” where our soldiers can “hide in plain site” with their cammy attire adapting to any background.
3. DuoSkin: Smart Temporary Tattoos
It’s hard to get any more “wearable” than tech that literally affixes to your skin. These temporary “smart” tattoos are being touted as the next innovation for medical sensoring technology to alert paramedics and doctors–even before the patient knows there’s a problem. But even beyond that, there are many more exciting possibilities with this technology–interfacing with your phone and hundreds more we haven’t even thought of yet.
4. Waterproof Fabric That Can Heal Itself?
Imagine never having to buy or repair material once it rips or in the case of super waterproof material– if it becomes compromised. Imagine super waterproof material repairing itself as soon as damage is done. Scientists at MIT are attempting to produce a fabric that does just that– reorganize and heal itself just like a living being. They are experimenting with E. coli bacteria (except for the bad stuff that would adversely affect human health) to pull out their self-replicating properties.
5. Tencel: Next Level Engineering for Softness and Comfort
Tony Stark most likely wears something like this under all that tech– super soft, breathable underwear made from bleeding edge fabric technology. The company is called Christopher J. Apparel and their flagship product made from Tencel is called The Manhattan and is billed as The Most Comfortable Undershirt You’ll Ever Wear.
Tencel is a fabric that is the result of new technology that is designed to be the most wearable of any on this list–and it’s available right now.
Tencel is incredibly soft and delicate–and the best part? It’s responsibly produced, biodegradable and is created with sustainable and eco-friendly processes. The process also recycles process water and reuses solvents at a recovery rate of more than 99%.
Tencel has been certified as biodegradable and compostable under industrial, home, soil and marine conditions.
It was designed in the USA and currently manufactured in Tempe, Arizona.