Data-Gathering Fabric: Where Tech Meets Fashion (Sponsored)

This post is sponsored by the sleek, stylish, lightweight HP Spectre XT Ultrabook™, inspired by Intel. Vote for your favorite bag design!

In case you’re a new reader (welcome, by the way!), you might not be aware that I have a serious weakness for all things electronic. Before I had Ellie, I worked for a well-known, (somewhat cultish) computer company (Who Shall Not Be Named), and before that, I was a sales person for national wireless carrier. Nowadays, when I’m not at home with my two year old daughter, I write and host a webshow about–you guessed it–electronic gadgets. (I haven’t ventured far from my comfort zone, it seems.)

You also might not be aware that I have a serious weakness for fashion. It’s my guilty pleasure. So when I was extended the opportunity to write about the convergence of fashion and technology, I literally jumped in my seat a little. So the question at hand, is this:

What “fashion meets tech” inspired design would you like to see on the market?

I’ve died and gone to prompt-heaven. And here’s my answer: data-gathering fabric. Call it the “Fabric of the Future.” Let me ‘splain.

I love data. And if you can give it to me in a gorgeous infographic, all the better. There are already so many devices that collect data (FitBit, Nike+ Fuelband, Pebble, etc), but none of them offer a truly seamless experience, or aggregate data beyond physical activity, or sleep cycles. And because each of the devices that I mentioned are separate little dongles, if you forget to put it on, you’ve lost all your data for that day.

So, why not data-gathering fabric? None of us leaves the house without putting some clothes on, so why not let our garments gather data for us? Of course, it could tell us our body temperature, how many steps we’ve taken, our heart rate, and how many calories we’ve burned, but there’s so much more data that could be gathered. There’s a lot of valuable information that can be gathered from sweat, such as PH levels and blood alcohol content. Just as a practical example, what if the fabric in your shirt detected a blood alcohol content level above the legal limit, and immediately sent an alert to your phone? Or somehow prevented you from driving your car until your BAC dropped below the legal limit? How many intoxicated drivers might that keep off of the road? Or if your bra could tell you that your PH is outside normal limits, thereby allowing you to make necessary adjustments even before your own body begins to exhibit symptoms?

Now, science isn’t here just yet, but allow me to daydream. What if our clothes could measure and track our hormone levels, alerting us to any deficiencies, and telling us when we are fertile or infertile? As someone who practices NFP, that would save me a lot of effort! And what if our clothes could provide variable insulation, depending on our body temperature? I could wear the same jacket in Phoenix in the summer, as I could in Chicago in the winter!

I know it all sounds a little sci-fi, but with the “Google Glasses” being a very present reality, it’s possible that my “fabric of the future” isn’t too far off. As for things that are happening in the here-and-now, HP has teamed up with Project Runway (don’t you just love it?) to host the HP Ultrabook™ Bag Contest, in which the winner will receive a whopping $10,000. (Not too shabby.)

I ❤ the retro-cool styling of this design

At the time of writing this, they’ve narrowed it down to 40 designs, and can I tell you something? The competition is tough. I want, basically, all of those bags. So here’s the thing you (and I) can vote every day for our favorites, until September 26th. Who doesn’t want to help an independent designer win 10 grand? And seriously, you should see the designs. I am so over laptop bags that look like laptop bags, you know what I mean? There are some seriously geek-chic designs in that lineup.

That’s all for now! I’ve heard from several of you that my video from Monday is not showing up on your end. My hunch is that it’s being blocked because there is music in the background (from the live DJ). SO. I’m going to re-upload it, but I’ll swap the DJ’s music for a tune that I own the copyright to, so while it’ll look funky (because everyone will be dancing out of step to the music), you’ll still get to see the “organic flash-mob,” and that’s the important part.

Thanks for your patience! Talk soon!




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I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective, and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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1 Comment

  1. If youtube is blocking it, there should be a note if you go to video manager.


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