The most inspirational speech of the WEAR Conference was by Stacy Flynn, CEO of Evrnu. Stacy has worked in the apparel industry for 20 years and has been a part of a process that has created millions of garments. Now she's on a mission to turn that around and make new garments from old materials, textiles that are at end of life.
At WEAR Conferences, Vikrum Aiyer, senior advisor for innovation and manufacturing policy in The White House National Economic Council of President Obama's Administration, spoke about the work done under the Obama Administration to create advanced manufacturing hubs by creating Institutes across the United States.
Leanne Luce, founder of the blog The Fashion Robot, said in many ways, the hackathons are more advantageous to coders and developers than fashion brands. “I’m not convinced that hackathons are helping brands as much as I see them as a way for technology companies to enter new markets.”
Billboards about Artificial Intelligence have been lining Highway 101 in San Francisco for as long as I've lived here, over 3 years. As I talk to people about AI they wonder, what does someone interested in Fashion care about Artificial Intelligence? Now is the time, more than ever when years of research are being applied to industry. We've seen projects like IBM's Watson market to a wide range of industries and entrepreneurs looking for opportunities to Innovate (with a capital "I".)
So what are some of the most interesting things happening with AI in the Fashion Industry? Here are the top 3.
One of the first things people ask about to get started embedding electronics in textiles is "How do I light this up?" Here's a super fast hack to get you started lighting up garments in 10 minutes. When the battery is disconnected, this sweater is just a normal sweater. If you remove the battery completely, it can be washed as usual.
Many recent studies have shown how gender diversity improves the efficacy of teams. Perhaps this and other initiatives for gender equality and social change are responsible for triggering a movement towards reform in our educational system. Universities are starting to study the impact of introducing students to electronic textiles.
I know... Fashion Tech and Wearable IoT are getting kind of annoying. You might be rolling your eyes with every new "LED Dress" and "Fitness Tracker" introduced to the market. Some of these consumer-driven devices are enabling the development of tech that will be critical for the future of this industry. These seemingly small developments will make products that can save or at least augment lives. There is a bigger reason why you should care.