The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to the exciting idea that everything in the world could be connected through the internet and controlled over a network wirelessly. And, now, more than ever before, we see this come true.
Additionally, Statista forecasts that the number of IoT devices worldwide is expected to almost triple from 8.74 billion last year to over 25.4 billion in 2030. Likewise, the escalating demand for IoT products is disrupting the fashion industry in numerous ways.
This article will discuss what IoT is, what it currently does for the apparel industry, and how it might disrupt fashion in the future.
What is the Internet of Things (IoT)?
So, The Internet of Things is poised to change everything in the world as we know it – including ourselves. But, what is it, exactly? We can define IoT in many different ways; however, one succinct way to describe IoT would be the way Science Direct does:
“The IoT is a system of interrelated computing devices, mechanical and digital machines, objects, animals or people that are provided with unique identifiers (UIDs) and the ability to transfer data over a network without requiring human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction.”
Putting the “Things” in IoT
The Internet of Things is not just limited to computers and includes anything from diapers that tell when your baby is wet to armchairs that you can change the shape on through your smartphone.
Other “things” in IoT can be a person with a heart monitor implanted, cows with biochip transponders or an automobile with sensors to alert the driver when tire pressure is low. In other words, IoT is shaping up to be just about any object you can imagine.
What Role Does IoT Currently Have in Fashion?
In the apparel industry, IoT has not been widely adopted yet. However, it is predicted that with more advances in technology and a growing need for constant monitoring of products to improve production efficiency, there will be increased use of connected smart clothing and other fashionable IoT devices.
In fact, the possibilities are truly endless as this technology is implemented in our daily clothing items and provides us with many benefits even outside the fashion world. Here is a quick look at a few fashionable “things” that companies are experimenting with presently.
IoT Clothing: Where Technology and Fashion Meet
One of the primary ways IoT will benefit the fashion industry is through clothing that integrates smart-chip technology. Some examples of IoT Smart Clothing include:
Smart workout apparel: Sensoria Fitness features a complete system of workout gear that tracks health and performance capabilities and reports the metrics to a smartphone app. The app then provides dashboard tracking and AI coaching.
Smart casual wear: Tommy Hilfiger has embedded IoT into the casual wear of its Tommy Jeans Xplore line. The smart-chip within the popular apparel tracks product usage and rewards the people who wear them a lot.
Smart textiles: Color-changing fabrics, once the stuff only dreamed of in Sci-Fi movies, are now made possible. User-controlled color-changing fabric dubbed ChroMorphous can change color with temperature changes and be modified to match your handbag or scarf to the rest of your outfit.
Smart shoes: Smart shoes with sensors that track your workout aren’t anything new, but Pizza Hut has experimented with a limited line of sneakers by Shoe Surgeon that can order pizza for you and pause your TV.
Smart wearables: Samsung has created some high-tech wearables, including a smart belt that does things like track your health and sitting times and a smart business suit that can exchange electronic business cards and interact with other gadgets.
The Future of IoT in the Apparel Industry
The Internet of Things has not been widely adopted in the industry yet. That being said, analysts predict that more advances in technology and a growing need for constant monitoring of products to improve production efficiency will bring an increased use of connected smart clothing and other IoT devices in the future.
The increase will see the technology disrupting the fashion industry and having a positive effect on many. Similarly, IoT is poised to change how we think about clothing and accessories in ways that will improve both our personal lives and the world around us.
Meanwhile, here are some cutting edge “things” that are on the horizon for the smart fashion industry:
- Apparel that charges your credit card as you leave the store, no person-to-person contact or physical POS is needed.
- IoT shoes that charge your phone – this technology has been around for a while, but it has only recently become affordable and popular. It makes sense since you are already carrying the battery with you!
- Clothing items for kids designed by their parents – allowing people to design and create custom-fit clothing no matter how unique they may be.
- Retail outlets are installing smart mirrors, letting you try out varied pieces of clothing in real-time and make virtual changes to their color, length, size, design, patterns, etc., before placing your smart clothes order.
- Clothes that regulate temperature for the wearer or vital signs. This is a great safety feature if you are ever out in dangerous conditions or need to leave something behind because it’s too hot!
- In the apparel supply chain, IoT devices are becoming more and more effective at tracking and authenticating shipments and products using Global Positioning Systems (GPS) and other high-tech systems.
Why Choose N41 ERP Systems for Your IoT Apparel Business?
N41 ERP Systems is a leading provider of Apparel & Fashion Business Software Solutions. With our integrated fashion technology, you can ensure that all your products are being tracked efficiently throughout the supply chain process in order to reduce risk while increasing revenue potential.
If you are a CEO or decision-maker for IoT in the apparel industry, you know that failsafe IoT connectivity is always needed to keep your supply chain streamlined, efficient and accurate in real-time. If you would like to find out how our N41 Apparel ERP Software can help you save time and money while helping grow your business, please contact us at (213) 738‐1010 or fill out our online form to request a free demo.
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