Meet the Business Uniforms of Tomorrow

Color-Changing Shirt

Image source:   

We've seen some pretty crazy breakthroughs in clothing technology recently, like shirts that contain secret digital messages, 3D printed dresses, and clothes with built-in LEDs. What's next?   Lacoste, a heavy hitter in the world of fashion, sought to answer that question by imagining what the clothing of tomorrow might look like. They created a video portraying color-changing shirts, extendable sleeves, and digital display shirts that magically keep track of your tennis scores.  

The video is pretty neat, but is clothing like this even possible? Well, no, not really. It might one day be possible for this type of technology to exist, but at the moment it's far beyond anything that manufacturers could reasonably pull off for mass production. Some of the clothing gadget is practically impossible, like the extending sleeve that magically creates clothing out of thin air.  

Though, in all fairness, the purpose of this video wasn't to promise consumers that Lacoste will release this science-fiction technology in the next couple of decades -- it was to inspire clothing fans to submit ideas of their own. The fan submissions weren't nearly as far-fetched. In fact, some of the ideas may even be right around the corner.   Grace Cai from China envisions a shirt that will allow people to display their mood, kind of like a mood ring in your t-shirt. The logo could change color based on your body heat or it could interface with a digital device like a smartphone. This holds incredible potential for marketing teams. Imagine being able to change the logo on your employee uniforms to correspond with holiday seasons or promotional deals.   This technology wouldn't be hard to implement -- all you'd need is a color-sensitive panel or an LED display that could change colors based on input from the wearer. Shirt with Color-Changing Logo Image source:[/caption]   The social media shirt, which was submitted by Catherine Beaumier Lacroix of Canada, imagines a keyboard that's been integrated into an article of clothing so that wearers can make status updates when they're out on the town. This invention is certainly neat (and in fact some groups have already invented similar clothing) but it's hard to imagine a situation where a clothes-keyboard would be better than typing out something on a smartphone.   [caption id="attachment_2451" align="alignnone" width="1022"]Social Media Shirt Image source:

Last but not least we've got the photo-shirt, which includes a built-in camera so that wearers can snap a photo of their surroundings -- great for people who always forget their smartphones and international spies. Once again, this type of technology probably wouldn't be very hard to implement. Clothing with cameras wouldn't be terribly useful for most business, but they might be able to adapt the camera to transform it into a barcode scanner. Allowing sales representatives to help customers by scanning barcodes with a tiny dot on their sleeve would look much cooler than carrying around those bulky, ugly scanning devices.   Clothes with Built-In Camera Image source:  

We tend to think of clothing as being fairly low-tech and static, but the fact of the matter is that clothing is changing all the time. In the past century alone, we've improved fabric strength with polyester, we've mastered zippers, we've invented Velcro, we've got built-in LED displays, and we've even got scientist working on fabric-thin armor for athletes and soldiers. Who knows what else the future will hold?

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