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WALKER_HelenAnn_MScLFM_DesignMarketingInnovation-SmartTextiles_2013

  1. 1. SKEMA BUSINESS SCHOOL MASTER OF SCIENCE IN LUXURY AND FASHION MANAGEMENT LAST NAME: Walker GIVEN NAME: Helen Ann NATIONALITY: British TITLE: THE IMPACT OF DESIGN AND MARKETING ON INNOVATION WITHIN LUXURY AND FASHION: FOCUS ON SMART TEXTILES AND WEARABLE TECHNOLOGY ACADEMIC YEAR 2012 – 2013
  2. 2. 2 KEYWORDS AND ABSTRACT Year: 2013 FIRST NAME: Helen Ann FAMILY NAME: Walker NATIONALITY: British Title: The Impact of Design and Marketing on Innovation within Luxury and Fashion: Focus on Smart Textiles and Wearable Technology. Keywords: Smart textiles, wearable technology, design, marketing, innovation, luxury, fashion, development, smart fabrics, intelligent textiles, electronic textiles, computing and technology. Supervisor: Professor Jonas Hoffman
  3. 3. 3 ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I would like to thank my dissertation supervisor Professor Jonas Hoffman, for his valuable guidance and advice whilst writing my MSc dissertation for the Luxury and Fashion Management specialisation. I would also like to thank all of the lecturers at SKEMA Business School throughout the academic year spent in Sophia Antipolis. The knowledge and insight I gained from the lectures have been invaluable in supporting the writing of my paper. Furthermore, I would like to thank the MSc Luxury and Fashion Management director, Professor Ivan Coste-Manière, for an interesting and dynamic academic year. Finally, I would like to thank Hassan Dayem for his assistance and moral support throughout the project work.
  4. 4. 4 TABLE OF CONTENTS EXECUTIVE SUMMARY................................................................................................... 7 LIST OF FIGURES............................................................................................................... 8 LIST OF TABLES................................................................................................................ 9 1. INTRODUCTION.......................................................................................................... 10 2. LITERATURE REVIEW............................................................................................... 12 2.1. Design and Marketing.............................................................................................. 12 2.1.1. Design as a Discipline...................................................................................... 12 2.1.2. Marketing as a Discipline................................................................................. 13 2.1.3. Distinctions between Design and Marketing.................................................... 14 2.1.4. Synergies between Design and Marketing....................................................... 15 2.2. Innovation in Luxury and Fashion........................................................................... 17 2.2.1. Defining Innovation......................................................................................... 17 2.2.2. Innovation and the Consumer.......................................................................... 17 2.2.3. Innovation and the Product.............................................................................. 18 2.2.4. Trend Forecasting............................................................................................ 20 2.3. Smart Textiles......................................................................................................... 21 2.3.1. Defining Smart Textiles................................................................................... 21 2.3.2. Smart Fabrics and Intelligent Textiles Market................................................. 22 2.3.3. E-Textiles......................................................................................................... 23 2.3.4. Embedded Fabrics............................................................................................ 24 2.3.5. Ubiquitous Computing and Ambient Intelligence........................................... 26 2.3.6. Smart Clothing................................................................................................. 26 3. METHODOLOGY......................................................................................................... 28
  5. 5. 5 4. FINDINGS..................................................................................................................... 31 4.1. Introduction.............................................................................................................. 31 4.2. Apparel..................................................................................................................... 34 4.2.1. Bubelle Dress by Philips Design...................................................................... 34 4.2.2. CuteCircuit....................................................................................................... 35 4.2.3. CuteCircuit M-Dress........................................................................................ 36 4.2.4. CuteCircuit Galaxy Dress................................................................................ 38 4.2.5. CuteCircuit tShirtOS........................................................................................ 39 4.2.6. CuteCircuit Twitter Dress................................................................................ 41 4.2.7. BioCouture; Grow your own clothes............................................................... 42 4.2.8. The Karma Chameleon Project........................................................................ 44 4.3. Smartwatches........................................................................................................... 47 4.3.1. Pebble Technology........................................................................................... 48 4.3.2. Geak Watch...................................................................................................... 49 4.4. Accessories............................................................................................................... 51 4.4.1. Blacksocks RFID Socks.................................................................................. 51 4.4.2. Sensoria Smart Socks...................................................................................... 52 4.4.3. Geak Ring....................................................................................................... 54 4.4.4. The Shine bracelet by Misfit Wearables......................................................... 56 4.4.5. The Bluetooth Glove Phone by Designworks................................................. 58 5. DISCUSSION, CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS............................... 61 5.1. Introduction.............................................................................................................. 61 5.2. Smart Textiles and Wearable Technology............................................................... 61 5.3. Visual Communication............................................................................................ 66 5.4. Innovation Management.......................................................................................... 68
  6. 6. 6 5.5. Innovation within Design and Marketing................................................................ 70 5.6. Conclusion and Recommendations.......................................................................... 73 REFERENCE LIST............................................................................................................. 75
  7. 7. 7 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY In terms of Smart Textiles and Electronic Textiles (e-textiles), I researched how this technology can be used for better design practises and product innovation. This was analysed in relation to marketing, and how design and marketing can use this innovative technology to expand and grow this sector of the market. Fashion and luxury are always changing, especially in today’s climate. Due to this, a lot of designers, brands and retailers are trying different ways to be innovative and stay ahead of the competition. Looking back five to ten years ago, smart textiles were presented as potentially imaginary products and weren’t seen to be a relatively competitive product. Nevertheless, in 2013, design, technology and integration techniques have improved dramatically and smart textiles are without a doubt a fantastic choice for development in terms of innovation. I investigated the potential for e-textiles within luxury and fashion in the next five to ten years, and beyond. The Smart Textiles and Wearable Technology market has seen a huge boost in the last several years, the excitement around the subject and industry has grown immensely. The world of Smart Fabrics and Intelligent Textiles (SFITs) and Wearable Technology is now a booming business, and is ripe for exploration and further development. Innovation management within a company will be important, particularly in terms of design, marketing and communication. Brands, designers and retailers will have to figure out how to manage the emerging technology for their products, their clients and current market conditions. There is so much opportunity for development in this area that it will be an exciting challenge in terms of creativity, communication and management techniques.
  8. 8. 8 LIST OF FIGURES Figure 1: Bubelle Dress by Philips Design (2007)............................................................. 35 Figure 2: CuteCircuit M-Dress, CuteCircuit (2007)........................................................... 37 Figure 3: CuteCircuit Galaxy Dress (2009)........................................................................ 39 Figure 4: tShirtOS by CuteCircuit (2012)........................................................................... 41 Figure 5: Nicole Scherzinger in CuteCircuit Twitter Dress, CuteCircuit Design (2012)... 42 Figure 6: BioCouture Bomber Jacket by Suzanne Lee (2011)........................................... 44 Figure 7: The Shoulder Dress, part of the Karma Chameleon project (2013).................... 46 Figure 8: The Pebble Watch, Pebble Technology (2013)................................................... 49 Figure 9: Geak Watch by Chinese startup Shanda (2013).................................................. 50 Figure 10: RFID Socks by Blacksocks, a Swedish company (2013).................................. 52 Figure 11: Sensoria Smart Socks by Startup Heapsylon (2013)......................................... 54 Figure 12: Geak Ring by Shanghai based company Shanda. (2013).................................. 56 Figure 13: The Shine Bracelet by Misfit Wearables (2013)............................................... 58 Figure 14: The Bluetooth Glove Phone by Designworks (2013)........................................ 60 Figure 15: Google Glasses by Google (2012/2013)............................................................ 64
  9. 9. 9 LIST OF TABLES Table 1: Wearable Electronic Products Market Volume, By Geography (Million Units), 2012-2018............................................................................................................................ 32 Table 2: Wearable Electronic Components Market Revenue By Type Of Components ($Million), 2012 – 2018...................................................................................................... 33
  10. 10. 10 1. INTRODUCTION The paper covers the relationship between design and marketing and how this is evolving within the luxury and fashion industry. In terms of marketing strategy, more and more brands are working with designers and artists to create unique products. This is an important development for companies and also for innovation within the industry. This relationship affects managerial decisions and how brands can develop their marketing plan. Silverstein and Fiske (2008) discuss the attributes of New Luxury leaders, ‘‘They are keen observers who are able to analyse the elements at work in an industry and see those that are missing as well’’ (p. 53). In essence, the leaders are looking for gaps in the market to develop, new, innovative ideas and products. An entrepreneur is able to visualise potential ideas for the future and is able to guide an idea to a reality. I will investigate the influence of trend forecasting agencies, such as WGSN, and how their analysis affects design, marketing and the industry in general. The paper will also look at changing trends and what information these agencies use to create knowledge relating to the industry. The study also will explore the influence of anthropology and how this can be applied to the research. The retail industry is changing, as is the customer. Due to globalisation, we have seen the easing of international trade barriers and the arrival of global supply chain management. This has allowed businesses to benefit from foreign labour markets and cheaper manufacturing costs. According to Silverstein and Fiske (2008) New Luxury Consumers are defined by their highly selective buying behaviour and the criteria for their selective purchases are both rational, involving technical and functional considerations, and emotional. I will investigate how the relationship between design and marketing can be
  11. 11. 11 developed to increase innovation and vision in luxury and fashion. I will examine the possibilities for designers to work in synergy with marketers to create a framework for business development. In addition, I will research the changing cultural parameters in terms of consumer behaviour. The paper will focus on Smart Textiles and Electronic Textiles (e-textiles) in relation to design and marketing. E-textiles are the result of a combination of disciplines: electrical engineering, combined with information technology and textiles, creates e-textiles. E- textiles are materials and fabrics that support digital components and computer electronics. They are also known as ‘Intelligent Clothing’, as built in technology combines with your everyday wardrobe, to create a new high-technology aspect of fashion.
  12. 12. 12 2. LITERATURE REVIEW 2.1. Design and Marketing 2.1.1. Design as a Discipline “Design is not just what it looks like and feels like – Design is how it works.” – Steve Jobs. This quote by Steve Jobs, in my opinion, sums up the definition of design; it is about aesthetics, tangibility and functionality. There are many different definitions of design and what makes a design good, or bad. Kotler and Keller (2012) believe that design appeals to both our rational and emotional sides, and offers functional and aesthetic benefits. Design is concerned with the multi-faceted qualities of products and services, from conception to realisation. According to Chevalier & Mazzalovo (2008) it is important to focus on the creativity and innovation in all business functions, as well as the inventiveness a company can apply to its products and services. The creative activities within a business at different stages throughout the product development chain are integrated. Any constraints that are placed on the creation department can affect innovation. The effective organisation of the design function in relation to business and logistics is crucial. The study by Patton (2000) states that design is a state of mind, a value system shaped by a set of beliefs, behaviours and practises. Companies can use design to capitalise on aesthetics and reach customer consciousness through stylish products. The study highlights the importance of aesthetics in design and product development, and how this can penetrate the consumer.
  13. 13. 13 An article by Vasquez and Bruce (2002) investigates design management within the retail sector, to assess the gap between this function and retail literature. The importance of design management within a company is closely linked to long-term goals. Vasquez and Bruce (2002) believe that the skills required by a design manager for success are: patience, persistence and persuasion. A successful approach to design management is that brands must deliver a dynamic and unified brand image. Companies which strategically see design as a core department can benefit greatly in business management. The paper by Sullivan (2000) investigates design as an important variable in all aspects of marketing activities, including products, processes, packaging and communication. The work of craftsmen was changed by the Industrial Revolution, when the relationship between man and object changed. Mass production brought about debate between design, product and social function. Sullivan weighs up the complex range of interactions between marketing and design. 2.1.2. Marketing as a Discipline The study by Patton (2000) investigates effective marketing processes and how the department can speak both the language of design and the language of business. In addition Patton looks at the effort made by marketing to translate design for business using the seven steps. The design principles don’t always work in harmony with the specific steps of advertising, as the principles are tools for exploring the unseen. The importance of beauty within design can be highlighted in artful marketing. Patton suggests that focusing on process rather than visual characteristics gives marketing the tools to cultivate its own philosophy of design.
  14. 14. 14 An article by Woodside (2011) describes key success/failure paths (KS/FP’s) and ideas for a marketing firm. Woodside proposes a theory for KS/FP’s that are applicable for fashion marketing strategies. The article looks at comparative analysis and the models representing successful and unsuccessful combinations of decisions within management projects. The study examines some interesting theories regarding success and failure within a company. Woodside suggests that configural comparative analysis (CCA) is an easy way to understand the impact of complex situations when analysing information. An important facet of marketing today is to develop a successful word of mouth strategy, with the increase of social media and awareness of brand identity. Danziger (2005) believes that it is important to create dialogue with passionate and informed customers, and to cultivate the relationship with them, helping to develop brand awareness. The idea is that these customers can act as effective brand ambassadors, their enthusiasm and knowledge will be passed on to others who are less informed. This communication strategy can be spread quickly and is cost effective. For brands, learning about the dreams and desires of these customers is important to help to execute this approach. 2.1.3. Distinctions between Design and Marketing There are fundamental differences in the fields of design and marketing, each discipline has its own characteristics and objectives. Designers are more concerned with product aesthetics and functionality, as well as beauty and style. Marketing is more focused with the demand for a product, the market and communication. Kristensen and Grønhaug (2007) define the difference as, ‘‘Simply put, marketing concerns the masses
  15. 15. 15 and design concerns the individual’’ (p. 820). They do admit that this is not always the case, and that marketing can also consider small scale projects and individuals. The work practises differ between the two disciplines, Kristensen and Grønhaug (2007) state that, ‘‘Marketing Managers write reports, Powerpoint presentations and statistics, when designers deliver visual sketches, physical models and visual maps’’ (p. 820). They go on to suggest this should be seen as a positive reason for better integration between the two functions. The specialities are complementary, and better integration could help to deliver valuable solutions and increase profitability. 2.1.4. Synergies between Design and Marketing The different approaches of design and marketing could be integrated in an efficient way to increase productivity and innovation management. According to Kristensen and Grønhaug (2007), ‘‘Marketing has a tradition of an analytical approach. Information is gathered and analysed and a plan is devised, usually discussed verbally and analytically. Design on the other hand sets the stage for a representation of the problem space in visual terms’’ (p. 821). However, all of these methods can be useful for both design and marketing, as verbal, analytical and visual skills can assist the work on both sides. Furthermore, the different disciplines can learn and progress by utilising all of these methods to improve problem solving and general practise. Kristensen and Grønhaug (2007) stated that, ‘‘The intellectual smartness of marketing and the artefact smartness of design can be united in a strong way’’ (p. 821). The two specialities can work together and use their different skills to improve business procedures.
  16. 16. 16 The paper by Benjamin (2011) analyses the ‘Marketing Design Awards’ in 2011 and argues how design plays an integral part in procuring market share and profit. The study lists and examines the various brands nominated by the awards and looks at the evolution of the shifting of brands. The entries included independent designers, types of marketing services, communications agencies and manufacturers. The article examines different product categories and their strengths in the design field and the design strategy of various products and brands. The study highlights the various areas of design to introduce creativity and originality. The heritage of the brand was important in the design strategy for winners. The winner of the fashion category was Perfumer Penhaligon’s, a London brand established in 1870. The brand has a rich heritage; however they were losing sales over the lucrative Christmas period. The design agency JKR was commissioned to produce a visually stimulating gift set to help boost sales and offer unique and innovative packaging. Benjamin (2011) described the idea behind the project, ‘‘The central theme was the use of anthropomorphic animals, rooted in the Victorian culture that characterises Penhaligon’s. This translated into a fantasy world that expressed the whimsical nature of the brand. From afternoon-tea parties attended by rabbits and birds, to lemurs playing musical instruments, the design brought the brand’s eccentric nature to life with elegant humour’’ (p. 33). The boxes were modelled on a Victorian hat-box, designed to be carried by hand. An elegant and unusual design, it was a good relation to the brand and its’ British heritage. According to Benjamin (2007), the final result was an eightfold return on investment for the brand, with the increase due to the packaging redesign. This is a good example to show
  17. 17. 17 how design can form an important part of the marketing strategy, with an impact on innovation in the brand and ultimately an increase in performance. 2.2. Innovation in Luxury and Fashion 2.2.1. Defining Innovation “If at first, the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it. Innovation is not the product of logical thought, although the result is tied to logical structure.” – Albert Einstein. There are as many definitions regarding innovation as there are regarding design and marketing. The commercial definition could be that a company brings new goods or services to market, and these are successful with the consumer. I believe that Einstein, in the above quote, is saying that innovation can come from absurd ideas and unusual creative thoughts. However, the whole process of innovation requires logic, structure and a business framework for it to work through to the end. For a product to be successful in terms of both design and marketing, these separate functions both need to implement strategies to ensure the success of a product. 2.2.2. Innovation and the Consumer An article by Goldsmith, Kim, Flynn and Kim (2011) defines the importance of price to innovators (early adopters of new trends) and the impact this has for marketing managers when they set a price for new products. Goldsmith et al. suggest that price is less important for innovators than it is for later adopters, therefore they may be willing to pay a higher price. The influence of factors such as demographics, personality and economic
  18. 18. 18 circumstances in turn affect price sensitivity in consumers. Goldsmith et al. argue that consumer innovativeness is multi-dimensional. At management level, many variables can be taken into account when analysing consumer behaviour regarding innovation. Innovation is an important factor to attract consumers; the idea of the new and never seen is a key element for successful design and marketing. According to Danziger (2005) the idea of differentiation is, ‘‘If it isn’t new, it’s old, and people don’t want to talk about last year’s news. They want to talk about what’s hot, what’s new, what’s innovative’’ (p. 264). The ability of a brand to be able to demonstrate innovation within their products can increase brand awareness and opinion of the brand’s identity. Danziger (2005) explains the concept further by suggesting that the innovation helps to create select groups, in a sense of having insider information. Therefore this helps to create a feeling of exclusivity and being part of an original phenomenon. 2.2.3. Innovation and the Product Introducing a new product, and in particular, a new range, is an important and complicated decision for a company or brand. According to Kapferer and Bastien (2012), ‘‘The objective of a new range should be to innovate, complement and strengthen existing ranges, not to substitute for them, and to enrich the substance of the brand’’ (p. 208). Product innovation involves finding a need that is currently unmet, as well as there being a market that would be interested by this need. Maital and Seshadri (2012) found that becoming an anthropologist can help to drive and develop innovation. It is important for businesses to consider not only what product will be a success, but also who will be interested or benefit from such a product. Maital and Seshadri (2012) stated that,
  19. 19. 19 ‘‘Anthropology builds skill at ‘reading’ other people’s cultures. No skill can better serve an innovator seeking to empathize with all others, some others, and himself or herself’’ (p. lii). This can support a company when assessing how great the need for a product really is and how widespread that need is. Inside-Out Innovation is important when executing the creative process (Maital and Seshadri, 2012). The creative mind should begin with the question of ‘for whom?’ and also question why they would need it. Maital and Seshadri (2012) discuss this idea in relation to product innovation, ‘‘we ensure that we do not ‘push’ imaginative innovative products into a market where there is no real need, and instead, begin with a true need and pull technology in order to meet it’’ (p. liii). The belief is that this method of innovation management will help to ensure that ground-breaking products are met with enthusiasm and are not unwanted. This point is interesting with regards to smart textiles, as designers are creating unusual and state-of-the-art products, yet the market hasn’t responded quickly to the technology. The paradigm is changing though, as the technology becomes more mainstream, aesthetically pleasing and effective. The early adopters of trends are now helping to push the market and this interest will spread throughout the industry. The innovation surrounding new technology with the traditional practise of textile production is fascinating. It is interesting that designers who like to work with the latest digital technologies, such as lasers and ultrasound, can work in collaboration with designers that appreciate handmade details such as appliqué, stitch and embellishment (Braddock Clarke & O’Mahony, 2005). This resonates with the link between the seemingly more industrial world of technology, with the more delicate and soft nature of textiles and clothing design. The reality is that each industry has developed a mutual respect for the
  20. 20. 20 working practises of the other, resulting in a readiness to learn from each other and create something truly original and distinct. 2.2.4. Trend Forecasting There are a multitude of trend forecasting agencies that create knowledge and information regarding colours, materials, silhouettes, patterns and styling. One well known trend forecasting agency is WGSN. According to WGSN’s About page (2013), ‘‘WGSN provides fashion and design businesses with the intelligence to drive commercially successful products and services’’ (Mission Statement, 2013). The industry forecasting agencies are important sources of information for luxury and fashion brands in planning future products and collections. WGSN (2013) discusses the benefits of using their services in relation to output: ‘‘WGSN empowers businesses to: • Anticipate future trends • Increase speed to market • Make informed decisions • Drive productivity and supply chain efficiencies • Reduce travel costs • Minimise investment risk and maximise ROI’’ (Mission Statement). There are numerous sources that trend forecasting agencies use to create a wealth of information for the industry. Trend forecasters look at a huge breadth and depth of information to predict the effects of changes in the future. It is interesting that, despite there being a large number of agencies, they often arrive at similar forecasts. Some of the
  21. 21. 21 aspects the forecasters examine, which are by no means exhaustive, are: changes in consumers buying, current events, art, music, design, political events, economic changes, and developments in science and technology. In addition, they examine any changes in demographics, geographics and psychographics, and the possible effects of these changes. As the luxury and fashion market is now a global business, forecasters study these changes for both domestic and international markets, as effects are interchangeable. The paper by Guercini and Ranfahni (2012) assesses the ‘bureau de style’ (trend forecasting agency) in relation to trends and the textile industry. Guercini and Ranfahni (2012) summarise that the generation of knowledge means creating a reality and influencing surrounding circumstances. The concepts of constructivism and cognitive approaches are related to knowledge. The article presented an interesting thought process regarding knowledge in relation to the bureau de style. The relationship between the bureau de style and textile firms can be developed to increase the potential for innovation based on these interactions. The fashion industry is faced with increasing pressure and competition, and product innovation and the management of changing trends is a strategic option brands can implement. 2.3. Smart Textiles 2.3.1. Defining Smart Textiles ‘‘The best way to predict the future is to invent it.’’ – Alan Kay, Computer Scientist. The speed and progress of technology over the last couple of decades has been incredible, the developments have come thick and fast. Advances have been made in
  22. 22. 22 computing, mobile technology, the internet, the emergence of tablet computers and nanotechnology. The innovations have led to the transformation of daily life for many people and the improvement of user experience. Information is available immediately, round the clock, allowing greater efficiency in both working and personal lives. Smart fabrics and intelligent textiles (SFITs) are also known as intelligent textiles or e- textiles and offer the chance to revolutionise clothing as we know it today. They are fabrics that encompass electronic elements, such as computing and digital components. The fabric and technology are combined, and can be seamlessly incorporated to include sensors, cables, circuitry, and responsivity to heat and light. 2.3.2. Smart Fabrics and Intelligent Textiles Market There is currently considerable research and development in the field of smart textiles, helping to boost the industry. The market is growing year on year and is predicted to be worth $1.8 billion by 2015 (PRWeb, 2011). According to a more recent article, reporting on a Global Industry Analysts Inc. Report, the smart fabrics and interactive textiles market will reach $2.6 billion by the year 2017 (Ceramic Industry). Assuming these forecasts are correct, the market looks set to explode in the next five years. Based on this set of data, the market will increase by 50% from 2015 to 2017, which is a dramatic change. Therefore the development of this market will have important implications for the luxury and fashion industries. The potential to profit from these changes will be of huge importance for brands, and design and marketing will be a fundamental part of this development.
  23. 23. 23 The Ceramic Industry (2012) reported that, ‘‘Growth will be primarily driven by developments in material science and fiber technologies (i.e., nanofibers, conductive pressure-sensing fabrics and other hybrid fabrics), as well as the growing miniaturization of electronics, increasing use of electronic textiles in the emerging generation of wearable computing smart products, and rapid expansion into newer application areas’’ (para. 1). These types of technological advancement can be applied to products in both luxury and fashion, and offer designers new innovation prospects. They offer marketing a new and exciting world of opportunity to develop products, and to create inventive communication and advertising campaigns. The prospective advancements could facilitate revolutionary changes in luxury and fashion. The collaboration between academia and industry has been essential in this growing trend. There are worldwide trade fairs that facilitate the sharing of knowledge between the leaders in the field. The majority of the research centres are based in the USA and in Northern Europe, in Sweden, Demark, France, Belgium, Germany, Holland and the UK. 2.3.3. Electronic Textiles Electronic Textiles (e-textiles) are a new generation of fabrics that integrate fibres that are woven into the material and are capable of conducting electronic signals. E-textiles are also known as wearable technologies, as intelligent technology is combined with fabrics, which can transform a habitual garment into something unique. The integration of technology and textiles could be seen as an unlikely pairing; fabrics are tactile and delicate, as opposed to technology that is generally robust and resilient. According to Quinn (2010), ‘‘Although heavy-duty hardware and delicate fibres may seem irreconcilably diverse,
  24. 24. 24 technological advances are making each of them lighter in weight and sleeker in appearance’’ (p. 7). The research and development in this field has increased dramatically in the last decade, resulting in technology that is able to support and integrate with woven textiles. Quinn (2010) explained that, ‘‘Fibre technology is one of the most advanced areas of material science today, resulting in high tech filaments refined enough to craft the couture garments of Parisian fashion yet strong enough to hoist a satellite into space’’ (p. 7). This is a remarkable shift in the possibilities for e-textiles as an industry, and offers extensive scope for companies developing this area of research. The current capabilities of e-textiles present interesting options, Quinn (2010) stated that, ‘‘Like computing devices, electronic textiles can relay information via conductors, switches and sensors and exchange signals with remote systems via transistors and woven antennae. Threads coated with metals such as silver and nickel make excellent conductors, and ductile fibres made from materials such as carbon, polymers and finely drawn copper sit snugly on the body’’ (p. 10). Due to this technology, e-textiles can withstand software applications, Bluetooth and mobile technology, creating material that is active and has the ability to adapt. Quinn (2010) makes an interesting observation that the collaboration between fashion and technology has created a ‘‘uniquely neutral space’’ bringing together the historically female dominance in fashion and male dominance in technology. 2.3.4. Embedded Fibres Embedded fibres were one of the earliest advances in the field of interactive garments. According to Quinn (2010), ‘‘The first wearable computer prototypes of the early 1990s were actually body-mounted devices attached to jackets, waistcoats and vests. Their cable
  25. 25. 25 and connectors were anchored in place by fasteners and stitching or crudely fed through seams, and wireless antennae were attached to collars or cuffs’’ (p. 17). One of the first gadgets to be embedded in textiles was the MP3 player, with the hardware positioned between layers of fabric. This was innovative at the time; however it was operated manually instead of being truly integrated into the fabric garment, which is feasible today. One of the first fashion designers to experiment with this kind of technology was Hussein Chalayan (Quinn, 2010). Chalayan’s spring/summer 2007 collection, titled ‘One Hundred and Eleven’, was an exploration into wireless technology and embedded connectors. The collection included garments that were programmed to move depending on the programming sequences, for example the hemline of a dress could move up and down autonomously. Whilst the technology was effective, and the designs beautiful, the garments weren’t very comfortable to wear, due to the additional parts necessary to make it function. Quinn (2010) believed that, ‘‘Chalayan’s collection marked a radical departure from a world where distinctions between body and technology, body and dress, natural and superficial, once seemed clear’’ (p. 18). In his opinion, this links back to Michel Foucault’s theory that, ‘‘Social and cultural discourses construct our bodies in a way that makes us as analogous to a machine as possible’’ (p.18). This comparison between the similarities between man and machine are interesting in relation to e-textiles. As the technology is continually improving, smart textiles will allow us to achieve more machine-like qualities in our everyday lives. A garment will allow us to behave in a manner similar to a machine, with effective and practical qualities and high tech systems.
  26. 26. 26 2.3.5. Ubiquitous Computing and Ambient Intelligence Cho (2010), describes ubiquitous computing as follows, ‘‘The ability of all things to communicate and react with other things to provide services to human beings’’ (p. 90). Cho (2010) explains this idea further by suggesting the future of clothing will be to connect the self and the environment. The benefits for humans will be numerous, clothing will be able to measure changes in the environment and also generate information related to wellbeing, such as health or emotions, and provide location positioning. According to Cho (2010), we have a need for ambient intelligence in today’s world, ‘‘in which intelligent devices are integrated into the everyday surroundings and provide services to everyone. As our lives become more complex, people want ‘ambient intelligence’ to be personalized, embedded, unobtrusive, and usable anytime and anywhere’’ (p. 2). Clothing is a daily necessity for all, and a passion of many. The ability to integrate intelligence into clothing opens up the possibility for true integration between humans and machines. 2.3.6. Smart Clothing Smart clothing is a combination of electronic engineering and garment design, the two are merged together to create various different features. The difference between smart clothing and wearable technologies is that smart clothing is a fusion of technology and fashion; it is combined as one, whereas wearable computing consists of an electronic device or piece that is attached to attire. Smart clothing is more comfortable and tactile for the user to wear, as opposed to some wearable technology. Despite advances in minimizing the devices attached to apparel, is still more difficult to wear than embedded technology.
  27. 27. 27 Another huge benefit of smart clothing is that it generally washable and easily maintained, making it suitable for everyday wear. Product designers of smart clothing have to consider the multi-faceted factors in their design process, such as electronic efficiency, electrical safety, physical comfort and aesthetics of a garment (Cho, 2010). The intelligence can be split into three divisions, which are passive smart, active smart and very smart systems. This division is illustrated by Cho (2010), ‘‘Passive smart systems can only sense the environment; active smart systems can sense and react to the stimuli from the environment; and very smart systems, in addition, adapt their behaviour to circumstances’’ (p. 3). In addition, Cho (2010) explains there are five facets to a smart clothing system, which are interfaces, communication components, data management components, energy management components, and integrated circuits. The clarification of each of these facets is as follows, ‘‘An interface is a medium for transacting information between the wearer and devices or the environment. A communication links components of the clothing, transferring information and energy. Data management refers to refers to memory and data processing. Energy management relates to energy supply and storage. Integrated circuits are miniture electronic circuits built on a semiconductor substrate’’ (Cho, 2010, p. 3). The smart clothing system is able to provide valuable advantages in many different fields, such as in healthcare, professional sports, and the military.
  28. 28. 28 3. METHODOLOGY In terms of methodology, the research philosophy is based around interpretivism and constructionism. According to Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill (2009), ‘‘Interpretivism advocates that it is necessary for the researcher to understand differences between humans in our role as social actors’’ (p. 116). Everyday social roles are interpreted in accordance with our own sense of these roles and we interpret others through our own set of meanings (Saunders et al., 2009). Data can be collected from various sources that contain different areas of expertise in both science and technology. Evidence can be collected to gain a sufficient understanding of smart textiles and their potential future use in design. In addition, evidence can be collected to gain a sufficient understanding of senior management thinking and the conceivable future trends that could occur. This subject is already understood to a certain degree, there is study and theory in relation to the topic; however some of this material is already dated and has to be re-evaluated on a continuous basis. The subject of e-textiles is related to science and technology, as well as designers, retailers and brands, so applied research is the best approach. Overall, the paper will take the shape of an exploratory study. “An exploratory study is a valuable means of finding out what is happening; to seek new insights; or ask questions and to assess phenomena in a new light” (Robson, 2002, p. 59) taken from (Saunders et al., 2009, p. 139). Thus, for the study, I will apply a combination of academic research and consultancy. My research will be qualitative and will investigate the angle, from a professional point of view, in the field of design and marketing. The possible limitations for the study are gaining access to the right experts and professionals. This is a relatively new subject and as
  29. 29. 29 such there is not a long history of research and literature regarding e-textiles. It is an area of huge growth, however, so the information does exist and is in a constant state of development. With inductive reasoning, I will analyse and hypothesise around the business and academic case studies that I have read, including information that I will gather from various credible news sources. I will also include previous study examples and theories to help me formulate credible hypotheses about future trends. These hypotheses will still need to be confirmed and researched going forward, however they will be a good basis for the extrapolation of current and future trends. Apart from the limitations about finding experts in the fields, I may be confronted with other limitations due to my own personal bias and the bias of the case studies and articles that I will be including. For example my samples of newspaper articles will come from publications such as The Economist, the BBC and a range of technology sites. Although these are respected journals, there will probably be media bias, as well as bias, from the journalists of the articles. I intend to employ symbolic interactionism and phenomenology to interpret these biases, and hopefully react to them, giving the reader an objective view of the current situation, as possible. The research will include the developing market of Smart Fabrics and Intelligent Textiles (SFITs), a sector that is growing year on year. The existing information on the subject will be evaluated, and examined in regards to the future. An important section will be the current and future technologies for SFITs and their potential impact on the luxury and fashion markets. These technologies could have different implications for luxury and
  30. 30. 30 fashion brands; there are copious advantages for product usage in terms of technological, aesthetic, functional, medical and health benefits. The discussion will include how these areas could change going forward in luxury and fashion, and the development of the design and marketing of products to increase consumer desire and expectation. The relationship between design and marketing is important to explore further to comprehend innovation with the luxury and fashion industry. The paper will examine what this means for the future of innovation and the potential effects in the field of Smart Fabrics and Intelligent Textiles. How could the relationship between design and marketing be developed to increase innovation and vision in luxury and fashion? How can designers work in synergy with marketers to create a framework for product development? Are consumer patterns changing and what are the potential impacts on brand management?
  31. 31. 31 4. FINDINGS 4.1. Introduction “The whole of science is nothing more than a refinement of everyday thinking.” – Albert Einstein. This is an interesting quote by Albert Einstein, and I believe he is saying that scientific thinking is a more critical way of thinking, but nevertheless it is still an expansion of the way we already think. It is also necessary to use our brains to the best of our ability if we wish to find a suitable conclusion. There are various market projections for the future of smart textiles and wearable technology. Despite quite significant discrepancies between the forecasts found, there is a common theme: the market is set for remarkable growth over the next five to ten years. The following table shows that the wearable electronic market will be worth around $8 billion by the year 2018, with the majority of revenue being generated by the consumer goods sector. MarketsandMarkets (2013) state some facts and figures from their forecast, “The market is expected to grow roughly by $800 million every year and is expected to cross $6 billion by 2016. Post 2016, with expected take-off of smart & e-textiles market on a massive scale, the market is expected to cross $8 billion by the end of 2018, growing at an estimated CAGR more than 17% for the five year period of 2013 to 2018” (para. 4). The CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 17% is an impressive market rate, and the future looks bright for wearable electronics.
  32. 32. 32 Table 1: Wearable Electronic Products Market Volume, By Geography (Million Units), 2012 – 2018 Source: MarketsandMarkets Analysis. (2013). Wearable Electronics Market and Technology Analysis (2013 – 2018). Retrieved June 2, 2013, from, http://www.marketsandmarkets.com/Market-Reports/wearable-electronics-market- 983.htmlhttp://www.marketsandmarkets.com/Market-Reports/wearable-electronics- market-983.html The next table is noteworthy as it breaks down the wearable electronic market (or smart textiles) by component type. It is interesting that this table shows the market at a value of around $6 billion, compared to $8 billion in the last estimation. MarketsandMarkets Analysis (2013) explain the reason for this, “The fact that the CAGR for the market’s volume is much higher than that of revenue indicates a gradual decline in the global weighted ASP of a typical wearable electronic product over the next five years” (para. 5).
  33. 33. 33 Table 2: Wearable Electronic Components Market Revenue By Type Of Components ($Million), 2012 – 2018 Source: MarketsandMarkets Analysis. (2013). Wearable Electronics Market and Technology Analysis (2013 – 2018). Retrieved June 2, 2013, from, http://www.marketsandmarkets.com/Market-Reports/wearable-electronics-market- 983.htmlhttp://www.marketsandmarkets.com/Market-Reports/wearable-electronics- market-983.html
  34. 34. 34 4.2. Apparel 4.2.1. Bubelle Dress by Philips Design The Bubelle Dress was created in 2007 by the Design group at Royal Philips Electronics in the Netherlands. The dress was designed as part of the SKIN project at Philips, which examines the future of sensitive materials, in relation to emotional sensing. The dress was designed as part of an exploration into personality and mood changes; it was never intended for sale. According to a report by Winslow (2007), “The Bubelle Dress is made up of two layers, the inner layer contains biometric sensors that pick up a person’s emotions and projects them in colors onto the second layer, the outer textile” (para. 4). It was Lucy McRae, Body Architect at Philips Design that managed the project, and wanted to produce a completely original piece that interacted with emotions and skin temperature. Any changes in emotion can affect the body temperature, stress, happiness and fear will all have an effect on the body, and the dress monitors those changes and reflects them by changing. Winslow (2007) relays a statement by Lucy McRae, “A garment can be a highly complex interactive electronic or biochemical device that is more responsive to subtle triggers like sensuality, affection and sensation” (para. 6). The intricate design is programmable, so the user can choose the colour change relating to their mood, for example to turn red when angry and yellow when happy. It is an interesting idea in terms of communication, as it helps to eliminate doubts with regards to the wearer’s state of mind. In the ‘Best Inventions of 2007’ list by Time magazine, the Bubelle Dress came top in the fashion category (Time, 2007).
  35. 35. 35 Figure 1: Bubelle Dress by Philips Design (2007) Source: Winslow, R. (2007). Bubelle Emotion Sensing Dress. Retrieved June 2, 2013, from, http://www.crunchwear.com/bubelle-emotion-sensing-dress/ 4.2.2. CuteCircuit CuteCircuit was founded in 2004 by Creative Director Francesca Rosella, and CEO Ryan Genz. The company specialises in wearable technology, and the two founders are responsible for the design and creation of their futuristic products. The company is internationally recognised and has a global presence, according to the company website,
  36. 36. 36 CuteCircuit About (2013), ‘‘CuteCircuit has introduced many ground-breaking ideas to the fashion world by integrating new beauty and functionality through the use of smart textiles and micro-electronics’’ (para. 2). CuteCircuit is based in the creative Shoreditch area in East London, which is home to many design and fashion studios, as well as being the technology hub of the city. 4.2.3. CuteCircuit M-Dress The CuteCircuit designers were responsible for the M-Dress (Mobile Phone Dress) that was created in 2007, which is a silk jersey dress that can also operate as a mobile phone. According to Seymour (2009), ‘‘The M-Dress accepts a standard SIM card and allows the wearer to receive and make calls without carrying a cellular phone in their pocket or purse’’ (p. 38). The dress enables the wearer to avoid carrying a mobile, however they are able to stay connected at all times. The dress functions with the use of a SIM card that is inserted into a small opening beneath the label. The SIM card inserted into the dress is now ready to use and operated under the wearers’ same phone number. Seymour (2009) explains the use of the technology, ‘‘When the dress rings, the simple gesture of bringing your hand to the ear will allow the sensor to open the call. When done talking the gesture of releasing the hand downwards will close the call’’ (p. 38).
  37. 37. 37 Figure 2: CuteCircuit M-Dress, CuteCircuit (2007). Source: Koh, D. (2010). CuteCircuit M-Dress is also your mobile phone. CNET Asia. Retrieved May 20 from, http://asia.cnet.com/cutecircuit-m-dress-is-also-your-mobile- phone-62112439.htm CuteCircuit managed to create this M-Dress with the development of gesture recognition software and clarified their concept, ‘‘The M-Dress (Mobile Phone Dress) was designed after our research showed that very often phone calls are missed because mobile phones are quite awkward to carry, especially for women that have garments with small or no
  38. 38. 38 pockets. To allow women to stay connected while remaining stylish’’ (CuteCircuit M- Dress, 2013, para. 2). A combination of sensor technology and soft circuitry embedded into the dress enables a functional yet supple and stylish garment. 4.2.4. CuteCircuit Galaxy Dress The beautiful illuminated Galaxy Dress by CuteCurcuit was created in 2009, and was the star of the “Fast Forward: Inventing the Future” exhibition, at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago. According to a report by Yoneda (2009), “24,000 LEDs work together to create a dazzling light show of hundreds of cascading colors” (para. 3). The dress is made with silk chiffon, pleated silk organza crinoline and Swarovski crystals. The LEDs were hand stitched into this couture dress, resulting in them flowing with the fabric, creating a very natural and flowing design. Due to the vast number of LEDs, the dress requires quite a lot of energy to keep it illuminated. The dress can be powered with iPod batteries, and a couple of these will keep the dress lit for up to an hour. The statement piece and world’s largest wearable display is still on display in Chicago.
  39. 39. 39 Figure 3: CuteCircuit Galaxy Dress (2009) Source: Elite Choice. (2009). CuteCircuit’s Extraordinary Galaxy Dress Will Help You Light Up The Evening. Retrieved May 22, 2013, from, http://elitechoice.org/2009/11/14/cutecircuits-galaxy-dress-will-make-you-light-up-the- evening/ 4.2.5. tShirt OS by CuteCircuit The tshirtOS by CuteCircuit in collaboration with Ballantine’s Scotch whiskey is the first t-shirt that is wearable, sharable and programmable. Barak (2012) explains the idea behind the tShirtOS, “The firm wants to turn the t-shirt into the most creative canvas it can, made up of a large LED screen, camera, microphone, accelerometer and speakers for
  40. 40. 40 sound” (para. 4). At first glance, the tShirtOS looks the same as any regular t-shirt; it is plain, without any distinguishing features. The garment then transforms with the technology and can be used in countless ways in conjunction with social media. You can connect with your Twitter, Instagram or Facebook account, post your status updates or Tweets, play your music, show your photographs, and take photos with the t-shirt. This is a digital extension of a regular t-shirt with a logo, as printed t-shirts have been worn for decades as a symbol of taste and personality. The tShirtOS offers the user a modern day alternative to the printed t-shirt, and the option to change and adapt the message they wish to present to the world whenever they like. Therefore someone could own a couple of these t-shirts and the graphics would never have to be boring or outdated. The t-shirt is also washable, if you remove the battery, so it’s functional and practical. The following image illustrates the size and quality of the display, both of which are impressive. In my opinion, it is a great example of smart textiles and wearable electronics, and could be an interesting part of the future in fashion and digital. Oldroyd (2012) explains the technology regarding the tShirtOS, “The display currently only supports a resolution of 32 x 32 which matches that of the tiny built in camera. It is made up of 1,024 tiny RGC LEDs which all connect back to a small PCB which has Bluetooth, USB, an accelerometer and a pair of headphone sockets. The processor for the project is still being decided upon with two prototypes currently in testing. One is an 8-bit processor and the other a 32-bit ARM Cortex processor. The t-shirt will be controlled via an iPhone 4S running at least iOS 5.0 or greater” (para. 2). The downside to the t-shirt is that it currently costs a lot to make, however the designers are researching ways to reduce this. In general, the reaction to the tShirtOS has been really positive, Barak (2012) thinks that, “The
  41. 41. 41 world’s first connected clothing concept that actually looks cool and worth wearing” (para. 2). Figure 4: tShirtOS by CuteCircuit (2012) Source: Oldroyd, C. (2012). Meet tShirtOS, the first iPhone-controlled t-shirt with integrated washable display. iMore. Retrieved June 9, 2013, from, http://www.imore.com/tshirtos-first-iphone-controlled-t-shirt-integrated-washable-display 4.2.6. CuteCircuit Twitter Dress The world’s first Twitter Dress was created by the fashion and interactive design company Cute Circuit. The Twitter Dress was created for the singer Nicole Scherzinger for an event at Battersea Power Station in London, for the EE (Everything Everywhere) launch party for the 4G mobile network. The haute couture tech garment was made from more than 10 metres of French silk chiffon, and was adorned with over 3000 sharp triangular Swarovski crystals (LeClair, 2012). The dress has numerous LEDs embedded into the
  42. 42. 42 fabric, which light up to show the Tweets sent on Twitter by followers. It allows people to send their message with the hashtag: #tweetthedress, and this shows up on the dress for everyone to see. It is a glamorous design that also mixes social media and interaction, and has digital marketing capabilities. Figure 5: Nicole Scherzinger in CuteCircuit Twitter Dress, CuteCircuit Design (2012). Source: Chowdhry, A. (2012), Pulse 2.0. Nicole Scherzinger Wore A Dress That Has Real- Time Tweets. Retrieved May 17, from, http://pulse2.com/2012/11/05/nicole-scherzinger- wore-a-dress-that-has-real-time-tweets/ 4.2.7. BioCouture: Grow your own clothes Suzanne Lee is a fashion designer, and senior research fellow in fashion and textiles at Central St. Martins design school in London. The designer makes clothes from bacteria
  43. 43. 43 and has made garments from scratch, using only organic matter. According to a report by Kent (2012), Lee had the following to say about the process, “I’ve been using a basic Kombucha recipe. It is a symbiotic mix of yeast and other bacterial organisms that spin cellulose threads – cellulose, a natural polymer, is a byproduct of the fermentation process. So you can start with something like green tea, you add sugar as a nutrient and then you introduce another culture which is a living organism and that basically feeds on the sugar and the green tea and it spins threads of cellulose” (para. 2). The method does work, despite still being in the experimental phase. It is an incredible work of science, and is a completely different way to create items of clothing. The technique is also environmentally friendly, as it doesn’t require the use of huge quantities of water, whereas growing cotton does. In addition, the process is relatively inexpensive, and growing the fabric takes around three to four weeks. There are issues with the finished product however, particularly the lifespan of a garment. The pieces decompose naturally, as they react with chemicals on the skin, therefore the garments don’t last a long time. The designer is currently working on ways to improve the quality of the material and to make the process more commercially sound. Regardless of the development issues to resolve, Lee believes that the union of design and biology for BioCouture, are the future of fashion, and design (Kent, 2012, para. 11).
  44. 44. 44 Figure 6: BioCouture Bomber Jacket by Suzanne Lee (2011) Source: Fashion Foot. (2012). Biocouture: Grow Your Own Clothes. Retrieved June 20, 2013, from, http://thefashionfoot.com/2012/11/02/biocouture-grow-your-own-clothes/ 4.2.8. The Karma Chameleon Project The Karma Chameleon collection is the result of a collaboration between Joanna Berzowska at XS Labs and École Polytechnique’s Maksim Skorobogatiy at the Advanced Photonic Structures Group. Joanna Berzowska is also professor and chair of the Department of Design and Computation Arts at Concordia University in Canada. The Karma Chameleon collection is focused on photonic textiles, which are light emitting and electronic. The works are the result of a research project that explored the potential of
  45. 45. 45 textiles to change their appearance and shape dependant on the state of the user. According to Desjardins (2013), the project starting point was, “From corsets to caftans, we have seen dramatic changes in popular style over the past 100 years. New research from Concordia University now brings the future of fashion into focus by taking a closer look at the next quantum leap in textile design: computerized fabrics that change their colour and their shape in response to movement” (para. 1). The research project had a specific objective, to create electronic textiles that push the boundaries of possibility further than ever before. They discovered that it was possible to exploit the natural energy from the human body, store that energy, and utilise it to change the visual nature of materials and clothing. Desjardins (2013) explains the viewpoint of Berzowska, “Our goal is to create garments that can transform in complex and surprising ways – far beyond reversible jackets, or shirts that change colour in response to heat. That’s why the project is called Karma Chameleon,” says Berzowska” (para. 3).
  46. 46. 46 Figure 7: The Shoulder Dress, part of the Karma Chameleon project (2013) Source: Desjardins, C. (2013). How smart are your clothes?. Concordia University. Retrieved June 9, 2013, from, http://www.concordia.ca/now/media-relations/news- releases/20130416/how-smart-are-your-clothes.php
  47. 47. 47 4.3. Smartwatches The smartwatch market is proving very popular with those who like the practicality and functionality of smart phones and application technology. For those who are connected twenty-four/seven, and need an efficient way to communicate through all of today’s social media networks, professional networks, various email accounts and many other channels, the smart watch offers this, in combination with the functions of a general watch. Tim Barjarin, a Creative Strategies analyst, is the owner of one of the first (smart) Pebble watches, recently released. Barjarin is passionate about his new watch, “I love it. I have four or five people who message me consistently, mostly my wife. In the past, I was always being forced to look at the face of my smartphone to see who it was, now I just glance at my wrist” (Mendoza, 2013, para. 11). In my opinion, practicality and functionality will be strategic selling points for smartwatches and marketing could take advantage of this. At the moment, the smartwatch isn’t a mainstream product, being so new, however I think the market could open up dramatically in the very near future. Pebble has fierce competition from other companies with products with key selling points. The Sony SmartWatch, priced at $129.98 has touchscreen technology, increasing its user-friendly aspect. The Cookoo watch, at $130 has a battery that lasts a year, compared to the Pebble’s that lasts a week. Motorola’s Motoactv at $149 has a built in heart rate monitor. Finally, MetaWatch’s STRATA sells for $299, priced significantly above the competition, however has an elegant and delicate design (MetaWatch, 2013). One of the biggest competitors, Apple, has yet to release the eagerly awaited iWatch. According to Marshall (June 25, 2013) Apple are in the process of developing the iWatch and there are rumours that it is almost finished. Marshall (2013) described what Bloomberg
  48. 48. 48 had said about recent developments, “Apple has a team of around 100 designers working on a wristwatch-like device that may perform some of the tasks now handled by the iPhone and iPad. That's based on conversations with two people familiar with the company's plans” (para. 3). Despite the rumours that the iWatch is almost ready for release, Apple have neither confirmed nor denied this, and there has been no indication of what the price could be. The two other major tech companies, Samsung and Microsoft, have also yet to release a version of the smartwatch, however Samsung has confirmed it is working on a prototype and Microsoft are rumoured to be in the process of developing one. 4.3.1. Pebble Technology Kelion (2013), reported that “Tech consultancy iSuppli suggests that by 2016 more than 92 million wearable technology devices will be sold a year”. This includes the smartwatch industry, which is a market growing year on year. In an article about the innovative Pebble product, Kelion (2013) describes it as follows: “The wrist-worn computer will run apps on its e-paper display - a feature chosen to ensure it can be read in sunlight - and go a week without recharge” (para. 16). The smartwatch featured at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas in January 2013. The watch allows the user to check their email and use apps as you would on a smartphone, and is obviously totally hands free. The user can also check texts, scan Twitter and Facebook, whilst exercising, or riding a bike – which is what the founder Eric Migicovsky was doing when he formed the idea (Mendoza, 2013). The developers of the watch had success with the crowdfunding site Kickstarter; they initially set out to raise $100,000 (£62,000) but ended up with over $10m (Kelion, 2013).
  49. 49. 49 The CEO of Pebble, Eric Migicovsky, based in the Silicon Valley, believes that the market for this kind of technology is growing, and soon this type of product will be a part of daily life for many people, not just a few. The product is relatively new and still in the stages of development, so this is just the beginning for the possibilities. As the technology improves the Pebble watch could support apps, such as the phenomenon Angry Birds, and eBay bidding on the move. Figure 8: The Pebble Watch, Pebble Technology (2013). Source: Kelion, S. (2013). CES 2013: Ready for the wearable tech revolution. BBC News. Retrieved June 8, from, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-20956970 4.3.2. Geak Watch The Chinese technology startup Shanda has released their version of a smartwatch, the Geak Watch, in June 2013. According to Muncaster (2013), “The Android 4.1-based Geak Watch, includes Bluetooth 4.0 and Wi-Fi support, and features weather updates, pulse and heartbeat monitoring, and various notifications from the smartphone” (para. 5). The company is relatively new and not particularly well known, especially in the West. The
  50. 50. 50 company’s website is currently only available in Chinese, and delivery is limited to China. The Geak Watch is priced at 1999 yuan, (approximately 245€) being more expensive than the competing Pebble Watch. The reason for the cost is the Geak Watch has much better specifications compared to other products on the market; one great difference is that it has the ability to download applications directly to the watch, and is waterproof. According to CNXSoft (2013), the Geak Watch, “can be used as a pedometer, and it can even serve as a smartphone remote to take pictures” (para.3). Figure 9: Geak Watch by Chinese startup Shanda (2013) Source: Lestoc, C. (2013). GEAK Watch with Android, Wi-Fi and Multiple Sensors. Techvoize. Retrieved June 25, 2013, from, http://www.techvoize.com/geak-watch-with- android-wi-fi-and-multiple-sensors/
  51. 51. 51 4.4. Accessories 4.4.1. Blacksocks RFID Socks The combination of technology and fabric creates a pair of socks that are known as RFID (radio frequency identification) Socks, also known as Smarter Socks. The Smarter Socks are the invention of the Swedish company, Blacksocks, founded by Samy Liechti. The concept of the sock is explained by Wakefield (2012), “Each sock comes with its own RFID chip, which can be ‘read’ by a NFC (near field communication) device known as a sock sorter, which in turn communicates via bluetooth with an iPhone. As each pair has its own unique identifier, finding a loser pair amongst a pile of identical socks is as easy as scanning them with the sock sorter, and waiting until the iPhone app beeps to tell you it has located the exact match” (para. 9). The socks aren’t cheap, at £119 for ten pairs of socks, plus one Sock Sorter; however they offer an efficient and clever method of making sure you always have perfectly matching socks. The app is also able to measure other qualities of the socks, such as the colour and fabric condition, and can tell the user whether it is time to replace the socks.
  52. 52. 52 Figure 10: RFID Socks by Blacksocks, a Swedish company (2013) Source: Blacksocks Website. (2013). Smarter Socks. Retrieved June 25, 2013, from, http://www.blacksocks.com/fr-ca/smartersocks_breveexplication.htm 4.4.2. Sensoria Smart Socks The socks by startup Heapsylon are a brand-new product, due to go on sale in 2014 for $150. The startup Heapsylon, based in Redmond, Washington, launched an $87,000 crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo on June 20th 2013 (Armstrong Moore, 2013). The campaign’s goal is to allow Heapsylon to complete product development and manufacturing of its highly anticipated invention, which includes: “Sensoria Fitness system, replete with smart socks, electronic anklet, and virtual coach mobile app” (Armstrong Moore, 2013, para. 2). The system was also a finalist at the 2012 Wearable Technology Innovation World Cup, and Armstrong Moore (2013) said that the device,
  53. 53. 53 “tracks everything from foot landing and stride cadence to activity level and altitude gain” (para. 3). Armstrong Moore (2013) reported that, “Startup Heapsylon is launching a crowdfunding campaign to kick-start its washable computerized socks that track everything from activity type and calories burned to altitude gains and overpronation” (para. 1). It was also reported that the company is planning a partnership with Flextronics to develop and produce their creation. An interesting point is that this is only the beginning for this kind of technology, and whilst socks such as this may not excite everyone, the technology will soon be available for use in apparel as well. The co-founder Davide Vigano of the company recently told Business Week, "We'll go beyond socks at some point. In an ideal scenario, we want to become the GoreTex of embeddable computing" (Armstrong Moore, 2013). The three co- founders of Heapsylon originally worked for Microsoft's Xbox and health software divisions (BBC News, 2013). For the time being, this product will most likely be coveted by athletes and sports lovers, as it would support skiers wanting to improve their turns, or golfers wishing to control their stance. It would also be a great benefit to anyone training for a marathon, or wanting to correct their posture.
  54. 54. 54 Figure 11: Sensoria Smart Socks by Startup Heapsylon (2013). Source: Armstrong Moore, E. (2013). Sensoria smart socks may do more than help you run better. CNET News. Retrieved June 25, from, http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105- 57590287-1/sensoria-smart-socks-may-do-more-than-help-you-run-better/ 4.4.3. Geak Ring One of the latest wearable technologies is the Geak Ring, a light-hearted product name that is a wordplay on ‘geek’. The Chinese company, Shanda, has revealed the Geak Ring, “- a finger-worn device that can unlock a user's smartphone or pass data to others” (BBC News, 2013). The same article states that Credit Suisse believe the market for wearable tech could be worth $50bn (£32bn) in five years, making it a mega-trend. The BBC (2013) also reported that Credit Suisse added the following about the wearable tech market, “It is profoundly altering how we interact with our technology, our environment and each other” (para. 5). Shanda is also responsible for the Geak Watch, discussed in the
  55. 55. 55 previous section, and the company’s two new smartphones, Geak Mars and Geak Eye, both of which are Android based. The Geak Ring uses an NFC (near field communication) chip to recognize the device, and BBC News (2013) clarified Shanda’s concept, “The firm says this can be used to unlock its range of Android smartphones by tapping the two together as an alternative to keying in a password. It aims to make the ring compatible with other manufacturers’ phones before the end of the year” (para. 15). The accessory has the ability to activate downloads from the user’s smartphone, including contact information and photographs, and transfer this data onto another user, with only a tap against the ring. The ring is priced at 199 yuan (approximately 25€) and is claimed to last 99 years on standby, without the need to be charged. The stylish and sleek ring is certainly affordable for the majority of people at this price, and I can imagine this value for money proposition, with its distinctive technology, will be a hit product.
  56. 56. 56 Figure 12: Geak Ring by Shanghai based company Shanda. (2013). Source: Muncaster, P. (2013). Smart ring' revealed by upstart Chinese mobe-maker. The Register. Retrieved June 23, 2013, from, http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/06/18/geak_ring_smart_wearable_tech/ 4.4.4. The Shine bracelet by Misfit Wearables The Shine Bracelet by startup Misfit Wearables, who are out of Silicon Valley and Vietnam, make wearable sensing devices. The CEO Jonny Yu has managed the development of the bracelet that tracks motion, allowing the user to set daily exercise goals that are then measured. The Shine is made out of solid, aircraft grade aluminium, it measures how many steps you have taken, how many calories you have burned and is waterproof, you can even scuba dive with it. There are twelve dots around the circumference of the Shine, and each dot indicates activity levels. If you reach the full
  57. 57. 57 twelve dots, this means you have reached your daily activity goals (Misfit, 2013). Moreover, it can be worn anywhere on the body due to its size and adaptability. The next option, if you want to know exactly how much exercise you have done, is to download the data onto their app on a smartphone. The app will tell you, for example, how many steps you took, or how far you swam. As illustrated on the right of the image below, you lay the Shine onto the screen of an iPhone for example, and this uploads the data. Design wise, the petite device is sleek, elegant and lightweight, plus it is designed to last a lifetime. On a practical note, the battery lasts four months, is easy to change and there are no cables or buttons (Misfit, 2013). There could be a few options for customisation, for instance the Shine could be transformed into a button or brooch, making it even less conspicuous. Alternatively, it could be sewn into a small pocket of a jacket or pair of trousers, to be totally concealed, but removable.
  58. 58. 58 Figure 13: Shine Bracelet by Misfit Wearables (2013) Source: Grumpyfoot. (2013). Misfit Shine Activity Monitor. Retrieved June 26, 2013, from http://www.grumpyfoot.com/misfit-shine-activity-monitor/ 4.4.5. The Bluetooth Glove Phone by Designworks The Bluetooth Glove Phone was created by Designworks, a creative product design consultancy, founded by Jeremy Gardner and Peter Rickett. Designworks was initially approached by O2 Recycle to experiment with new ideas. The prototype designer for the glove is Sean Miles, who wanted to take an everyday item, and transform it into something aesthetically pleasing, as well as technical. The glove operates with bluetooth-enabled technology; the chip has been added into a small pocket at the top of the glove. Any phone with Bluetooth will function with the glove. The handmade glove is completely customised, made out of leather, and could be embellished or altered according to taste.
  59. 59. 59 Due to the high quality material and fabrication of the glove, it could qualify for a luxury market. The prototype is still in development, and not yet available for consumer consumption, however the technology does work. In a video interview by Shaw (2013), Sean Miles of Designworks explains the concept, “We have a completely wireless set up, to allow us to have bluetooth communication with the mobile device. We integrated the speaker into the little finger and the earpiece into the thumb, and this way it gives you very natural interface with the glove” (quote begins at 1m04s). In essence, a product of this nature could be interesting for the market in the future, although there is the possibility that users may find the concept unusual at first. The glove phone could be particularly useful in cold climates, where you have to remove a glove to answer a smartphone (if it has a touchscreen). This product would elimination that issue in everyday life. Despite the image below, showing the model with the glove on one hand and a mobile in the other, the phone can be in your pocket or handbag and still function, depending on preference.
  60. 60. 60 Figure 14: The Bluetooth Glove Phone by Designworks (2013) Source: Designworks Website. (2013). 02 ‘Talk to the Hand’ gloves. Retrieved June 23, 2013, from, http://designworksgroup.net/#/blog/posts/115
  61. 61. 61 5. DISCUSSION, CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS 5.1. Introduction “The superfluous is very necessary” – Voltaire, French Philosopher (Magee, 2010, p. 122). This is a thought-provoking quote from the French philosopher, Voltaire, when relating the concept to the idea of luxury. The quote is a paradox in itself, if something is necessary it cannot also be superfluous. The concept is that luxury plays, in fact, a crucial role in human society. Whether luxury plays an important role to individuals is another matter, however having luxury goods available for the elite can benefit society. The reason for this is because superfluity creates a distinction between people who have wealth and those who do not, and also helps to distinguish social classes. The existence of the wealthy could encourage the less wealthy to strive to attain what they don’t have, or what they dream of. Luxury also exhibits that social growth and progress is probable and potentially obtainable, creating the hope for many of achieving their dream. Due to this, belief in social mobility could be improved, and society would benefit as a whole. It is inevitable that there will always be luxury, as there will always be individuals striving to excel for the better things in life. 5.2. Smart Textiles and Wearable Technology There are many possibilities for the future of smart textiles in both luxury and fashion. There is scope for innovation within the industry, in terms of product design, marketing strategy, digital strategy and management approach, which is by no means exhaustive. The various categories will differ in their development, and according to product type. For example, information systems could be useful for a luxurious suit jacket with GPS,
  62. 62. 62 permitting someone to be able to track their movements without the use of a smartphone or GPS device. On the other hand, a beautiful dress that exhibits mood changes, would serve a more personal and emotional characteristic. In terms of smart textiles and wearable technologies, the market and the products could be conceived as superfluous and unnecessary by some. It could be argued that a person doesn’t need a smartwatch, a GPS suit, or sportswear that measures heart rate and blood pressure. In today’s world however, it could be argued that technology such as this has become a necessity. Business is now worldwide, thanks to globalisation, resulting in a fast-paced working environment, where major changes can happen in minutes if not seconds. Therefore there is the argument that we have evolved to the point where state of the art technology, and innovation, are essential for the evolution and growth of industry and humanity. The growth of social media and digital living has resulted in a planet obsessed by the sharing of knowledge, instant gratification, and immediate consumption. For the population to be able to keep up with the rate information is shared, and to use this to their advantage, technology is necessary to provide the means to do this. One of the most precious commodities in commerce, and in life, is time, particularly for the most successful. It is evident in the findings that some of the smart products on the market are designed with this in mind, to save the user valuable time, even if that amounts to a few minutes every hour or so. The market of wearable technologies is currently so new and niche it is hard to forecast how successful certain products will be in the future. The smartwatch market, for
  63. 63. 63 example, seems set to be a huge trend, however with most of the current products introduced by startups, and a limited customer base, may indicate difficulties for growth. The CEO of Apple, Tim Cook, believes there may be some issues ahead for the sector. According to BBC News (2013), Tim Cook has the following to say about wearables, “There's nothing that's going to convince a kid that's never worn glasses or a band to wear one. So I think there's lot of things to solve in this space, but it's an area where it's ripe for exploration" (para. 24). Considering that this is the CEO of Apple speaking, which is a direct rival to Google, the comments quoted above could be seen as retaliation. In fact, Google glasses (see following image) are currently considered quite cool and fashionable. It could be argued that someone who already wears prescription glasses would not be able to wear them, putting the statement of Tim Cook into direct controversy. In regards to wearing a band, nowadays most people, young or old, have worn a band in support of a cause, or for purely aesthetic reasons. Therefore, it is generally seen as normal, mostly positive and not at all unusual.
  64. 64. 64 Figure 15: Google Glasses by Google (2012/2013) Source: Digicom. (2012). Google Glass, une nouvelle façon de voir le monde !. Retrieved June 5, 2013, from, http://ecs-paris.com/blogs/digicom-2012/non-classe/google-glass-une- nouvelle-facon-de-voir-le-monde According to Marmey (2013), Google is planning a collaboration with Warby Parker, the startup eyeglass company. The two years old company offers ‘hipster’ eyewear, and is known for fashionable, quality goods. Marmey (2013), elaborates on the brand, “The New York based Warby Parker company is often considered as a tech startup because, although it has showrooms around the USA, it only conducts sales online and offers a clever system that allows customers to virtually try on glasses” (para. 2). This collaboration provides the opportunity for Google to improve the Goggle Glass headset, making the design more pleasing to trendsetters. The blend of technology and premium could strengthen the popularity of Google Glass and guarantee it is available to a wider client base.
  65. 65. 65 Aesthetics will be an important factor in the fashion industry, photonic textiles that enable colour changing and light emitting qualities could be used in haute couture and high-end products. As the technology improves and becomes more accessible, this will enable premium brands to experiment with further interesting and dynamic designs. The more available and accessible the capabilities are to produce smart textiles, the easier companies can produce and develop the products. As factories become better equipped for manufacturing, they will eventually be able to decrease costs. The haute-couture garments using photonic textiles and smart textiles, such as the Twitter Dress, by CuteCircuit, are relatively ‘underground’ currently, despite being present in the media. The clients of mainstream fashion stores such as Zara and H&M could find novelty value in such products from an aesthetic point of view, however there are a lot of people who have never even heard of e-textiles or smart textiles, so are unaware of the products and technology in the marketplace. An interesting project that brings together fashion, luxury and technology is FashionLab, combinging the technology of Dassault Systèmes with the work of fashion designers. According to FashionLab About Us (2013), “FashionLab is the crossroads of the fashion world and the Virtual World of 3D, marrying the engineering creativity of Dassault Systèmes with the artistic inventiveness and industry know-how. It aims at giving rise to a fashion 3D Experience that integrates design, simulation and collaboration platform required to create an entire collection” (para. 1). FashionLab works with its ambassadors and also with fashion and luxury companies. The FashionLab About Us (2013) section discusses the three ambassadors, “FashionLab builds innovation thanks to the creativity of Julien Fournié, founder of the couture house that bears his name, Jonathan Riss, artistic director of the JAY AHR House, and François Quentin, a designer of complex luxury
  66. 66. 66 watches and founder of 4N” (para. 2). They are all luxury fashion designers and have extensive experience in luxury and fashion. The designers are working with Dassault Systèmes to innovate and incorporate technology into the luxury and fashion market. The collaboration between luxury fashion and accessories with technology and engineering will help to drive innovation in the industry and also sets a precedent for others to follow. If technology is seen to be an integral part of luxury and fashion, more projects such as this will follow, powering the brands to develop the design and knowledge. The use of social networking systems to share expertise and ideas will assist the relationship between the designers and clients, providing private and protected work platforms. 5.3. Visual Communication “Show the readers everything, tell them nothing.” – Ernest Hemingway. This quote by Hemingway is a good explanation of how creating imagery can be a powerful way to put across your message. It is vital to create a picture and narrative for the recipient, which allows them to absorb the original significance and also personalise their outlook. Historically, textiles and materials have been created in order to communicate in one way or another. This could be in the form of a placement print on a t-shirt, an intricate fabric pattern on a couture dress, or a brand logo. Fashion has always been linked to story- telling and identity, conveying a meaning or belief. Electronic textiles take this rationale to another level, providing a dynamic display for the user to express their thoughts and emotions.
  67. 67. 67 In theory, electronic textiles could be used by brands and companies for advertising and communication. CuteCircuit designed the tShirtOS, which was designed for use in accordance with social networking, so consumers could experiment controlling their agenda not only online, but in person. The t-shirt provides an attractive and quality display for communication and presents exciting opportunities. This could be an interesting idea for a brand to employ and exploit. For example, an Apple store is a creative digital hub, with employees that are renowned for being knowledgeable, trendy, and up-to-date. There is opportunity for Apple to use this technology for their staff uniform, and control the message through their social network. Apple could introduce a digital t-shirt for their staff that could be used to advertise the release dates of their newest products, supplementary product information or general company news. This would give the brand a communication platform that would allow them to customize their message, and would be seen by thousands of customers every day in Apple stores around the world. There are already examples of using fashion apparel to communicate a visual message to the public, through the use of display screens and LEDs. Sabine Seymour is a clothing designer that uses such techonology in her pieces. According to Quinn (2013), Seymour has always been interested in fashion and technology, “As a teenager, she taught herself to programme computers and had designed her own clothes. When she finished her education, Seymour brought the two interests together in a series of technologically enhanced garments, and established Moondial, a fashion technology lab with studios in Austria and New York, where prototypes or products are created as Moondial with specialists or consortium partners” (p. 82). Seymour designed the ‘View N°02 jacket’, which is a trendy urban design, with a flexible display screen embedded into the back. Quinn (2013), describes the piece in more detail, “Emblazoned with embroidered patches,
  68. 68. 68 the display screen can also be programmed to project messages in support of sports teams and other organisations” (p. 90). The potential for marketers to use this technology is vast, it would be useful to sports teams and brands to advertise. The lighting and colours used in the design are eyecatching and bold, making an ideal platform for advertising, it is sure to be noticed. Quinn (2013), states that, “The display can project pictures, moving images, scrolling texts and morphing patterns, transforming the jacket into an animated surface” (p. 82). Seymour believed that the jacket would be ideal for guerrilla marketing and designed it with this in mind, as well as wanting the piece to be a fashion statement (Quinn, 2013). Seymour plans to develop the design and technology in the future, aiming for seamless integration between fabric and technology. 5.4. Innovation Management The importance of technology in this market is significant, however this and great design is not sufficient alone for business success. The management of the business model is a major part of the innovation. Maital and Seshadri (2012) believe that, ‘‘A creative, winning business design can be a sufficient condition for business success and profit. And the combination of great technology and a superior business model can prove virtually unbeatable’’ (p. 178). The design of the business model could be the most central part of the creative process. Innovation management is important to create differentiated products that create added value for a customer. Global companies need to create and develop products that have a USP (unique selling point), relative to the current marketplace, as competition is aggressive, and increasingly so. Maital and Seshadri (2012) discuss management
  69. 69. 69 techniques, “Organizations will need skills, competence and excellence in innovation management. In the Darwinian world of global markets, the companies able to innovate and manage innovation will be the survivors who will be significantly better than their competitors” (p. 25). With regards to smart textiles, the design is a principal element, if the technology could work, but if the design and fabric aren’t beautiful and easy to wear, it isn’t fit for purpose. Similarly, if the appearance and material are notable, but the technology doesn’t function properly, it again doesn’t fulfil its’ purpose. In addition, if the design is fantastic, but the marketing strategy isn’t adapted to the right target audience, it will be difficult to sell the product. Furthermore, the other business functions are crucial for the successful launch of a new and unique product, or range. Important divisions also include strategy, manufacturing, sales, service, online presence and POS (point of sale), as all contribute to a great customer experience. An interesting company strategy is giving employees “free time” to innovate. Google is a company well known for this particular method of working, giving their staff 20% free time in their working week, or one day, to explore ideas and/or research new projects. Even though they are well known for this system, they are not the first to have implemented it. Baldwin (2012) reported that, “For decades, 3M Corp. has allotted 15% of its employees' time to innovation, which led to the creation of the now-ubiquitous yellow sticky note, among other products” (para. 2). This example is a good argument for the practise, and proves it can work in a very effective way, after all the Post-it Note was a simple, yet revolutionary invention. One perspective is that that during this “free time”, their performance is still being measured, as well as their productivity. In a company such as Google, many of the staff are highly experienced, and at the top of their field. Therefore there must be huge competition between colleagues to perform to an exceptional standard.
  70. 70. 70 This could result in an increase in creativity and effort, compared to a scheme without this aspect. This alone could be a good reason for companies to trial this management strategy and it can be applied to several fields, including design and marketing. Companies may well be able to set a brief for both design and marketing to work together on a creative project pooling shared resources. These two departments should be working in sync, so they can optimise working conditions and the progression of ideas. 5.5. Innovation within Design and Marketing Innovation is realised in different ways within a business, and product innovation is probably one of the most important, for fundamental change. However, innovation can also be attained in businesses through work practises, the sharing of knowledge and communication. There has been a change in paradigm regarding technology and engineering, and it is now considered quite cool to be knowledgeable about both subjects. The French fashion designer Julien Fournie began working in the fashion business for Jean-Paul Gautier, he has sound experience in luxury and fashion. Today, however, he has embraced the technology aspect of fashion, and is working with engineers to develop design software. An article by Wakefield (2012b), explains that he is working with engineers from the French software company, Dassault Systèmes, which generally create 3D designs for the car and aerospace industries. The objective is to create software that would allow Fournie to transform his sketches into his next collection. The engineers had a different style of working to Fournie, being very analytical and precise. According to Wakefield (2012b), Fournie had the following to say about the relationship, “At the beginning I was like a
  71. 71. 71 laboratory rat, lots of engineers and geeks around me. But they listened to me, they wanted to find solutions for me. They videoed my habits of working, they wanted to know how I create” (para. 21). In the same article, Fournie states that, “Geek is the new chic” and that technology is here to stay as a dominant factor in the fashion industry. We have already seen a changing trend towards technology in the luxury and fashion market over the last several years. The emergence of digital technology is everywhere, and it has endless possibilities for growth and development. The purchase of smartphones and tablet computers is increasing every year, and for many it is their main source of information and communication. In the luxury and fashion business, this trend is and will be a main area to cultivate, as the technology will continue to expand, and the next generation of customers will be even more switched on and tuned in. Burberry has embraced the changing paradigm and is leading the way by integrating digital technology into their store design. The Burberry flagship store on London’s Regent Street, the classic British brand, has created a uniformity between online and offline communication. The concept creates the opportunity to advertise and market the latest collections and creations. There is huge opportunity to incorporate smart textiles and wearable technology into a store such as this, offering customers an even more integrated and unique experience. It will be an interesting brief for marketing teams to innovate in terms of marketing strategy and stay ahead of the competition in the race for individuality. There are other possible uses for smart textiles, intelligent fabrics and wearable technology, in accordance with another emerging trend, Smart Homes. Interest and research surrounding smart homes is another new and expanding market. The concept is designed to be beneficial for efficiency and practicality, as well as being more
  72. 72. 72 environmentally friendly. The use of smart textiles in the home could economise on energy consumption and convey the level of this at the same time. The Fibaro Wall Plug is an example of a possible solution, it changes colour and blush according to how much energy (money) you’re burning. It offers consumers an effective way to control usage and manage bills. The smart homes market will be a big development in the world of luxury, as it offers the luxury customer something new and exclusive. The possibility to live in a house that is completely interconnected with itself and those who live in it, is really just an extension of the current digital insurgence. The growth of ubiquitous computing will drive the process of humans and machines existing and connecting through a number of channels, providing seamless integration between technology and our environment. As a result of the global recession in 2008, there has also been a changing trend in terms of consumer behaviour, with a shift from conspicuous consumption to non- conspicuous consumption. This has resulted in a resurgence of being able to measure what you are doing and how you are improving. Wearable technology and smart textiles offer various ways of being able to measure data and performance, aligning the trend with technology. Cartner-Morley (2013), at the Guardian newspaper, states that, “We have reached the end game of have-it-all culture. Because I'm Worth It has had its day, and discipline is the new decadence” (para. 1). It could be argued that in the West, we have moved towards a ‘no-nonsense’ culture in comparison to before the recession. Generally, we all have to work harder, for longer and ensure we follow work ethics, due to job instability and a turbulent market.

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