We are used to the most obvious functions of clothes: to protect human skin against changes in temperature, various toxic substances and UV radiation. But companies of the 21st century are proving they can be greatly enhanced by embedding high-tech features into their garments and extending their functionality. Here are three of the most popular innovations in e-textiles and smart clothing of the past few years.

Better sleep, better life

The American experts at Under Armour Inc. recently created the perfect sleepwear for athletes and sportsmen. It showcases innovative technology using bioceramic prints on the inside to absorb the natural heat of the athlete’s body. It then reflects Far Infrared energy (on the infrared spectrum) back to the skin, helping people enjoy a much better sleep quality and wake up feeling well-rested.

Avoiding injuries, easier than ever

Another innovation is Sensoria smart socks, ideal for runners and preventing running-related injuries. They feature pressure sensors that send information about the person’s running style and possibility of injury to a mobile app, making it easier to track their movements and reduce the risks. In addition, the app comes with a Virtual Coach, instructing how to adjust running routines in real time.

UV light-related injuries could also become much easier to prevent now, with the Neviano connected swimsuit. Its AI sensor technology allows for the clothes to notify the wearer on a mobile app when sun exposure is at dangerous levels, so precautions can be taken before sunburn or other issues appear. Similar technologies are also being developed for other types of clothes, such as jeans and jackets.

Becoming the ‘hotspot’

Borre Akkersdijk’s prototype BB.Suit onesie is here to prove that being connected to the world does not have to involve a device. The 3D knitting technique incorporated in the onesie can accommodate Bluetooth, WiFi and GPS. So far, it has shown it can be tracked on Google Maps and used to upload songs to playlists, but many other applications of its design are currently being developed.

Regardless of how active we are, the benefits of smart clothes are clear and look set to remain for all future generations and beyond.

Photo: hangers by Caetano Candal Sato licensed under Creative Commons 4.0