“Wearable Technology;” Maybe the Next Step in Crafts and Costumes

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Whatever is cutting edge technology today seems to be a toy tomorrow.  That was why I was so interested in a New York Times article by Anne Eisenberg entitled “Which Way to the Ball? I’ll Ask My Gown.” 

From couture to do it yourself kits, textiles and technology have converged to produce “Wearable Electronics.” A woman can now wear a ball gowns that doesn’t just glow but changes its intensity as she moves (It looks like Cinderella’s Fairy Godmother was way ahead of her time).  “Wearable Electronics” don’t just provide fun and beauty they also provide functionality.  How about a handbag that provides directions?

Here is how the article puts it:

Adafruit-Flora-200x170Wearable electronics are starting to dress up gowns, handbags and even tuxedos… by way of conductive thread, sensors, batteries and small microprocessors. And daytime computerized wearables are on the way, like T-shirts and coats that can show full-length videos or use GPS to point you to your destination.

How cool is that.  It appears that over the last decade, “…the use of soft, flexible circuitry in clothing has grown as technology has improved….”  We now have “conductive fabric” and thread.   In fact there are actually processers that can be sewn into garments.

Where I see opportunities for the toy industry are in the use of technology is taking Halloween costumes and Dress Up to the next level.  Not only that, but there could be a market in craft kits.

Here is why, it appears that there is now an active DIY (Do It Yourself) market in technology and

clothing.  A company called Adafruit is leading the charge with kits that provide components, ideas and directions.  One kit allows you to fix up your pocket book so that your pocketbook will be able to give you directions via “… a big arrow to tell you which direction to go.” What is the cost for the kit, under $100?  You have to buy your handbag separately.

All of you toy industry entrepreneurs designers and inventors out there.  What could you do with this technology?




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