Before smartwatches and fitness trackers hit the consumer market, the investments in wearable technology came mainly from the military, enterprise and medical industries. Why? Well.. while fitness buffs use these devices to track and boast about their workouts, the use cases in business settings can be far more valuable. For example, emergency workers and medical personnel could use wearables to get vital data at a moment’s notice or alerts around safety and security.
Because of their purpose, the focus on enterprise wearables can be much more function than design but we are happy to see that this is starting to change. At The Next Web conference in Amsterdam, INTERLACED friends THE CRATED unveiled a sleek and functional safety wearable prototype for the enterprise.
The Armor vest, as it is called, responds to a worker’s heat, stress levels and posture, using printed circuitry on fabric. The piece is a new type of smart apparel designed to monitor harmful working conditions that one may face during the day, such as bodily stress, extreme temperatures and compromising postures.
THE CRATED collaborated with another New York startup, Strong Arm Technologies, and smart clothes platform Bon Bouton to create the prototype. Using a printed graphene temperature sensor by Bon Bouton and taking inspiration from StrongArm’s deep understanding and connection to the safety of active workers (who they call Industrial Athletes), The Crated designed and fabricated Armor using their own textile circuitry technology, INTELLITEX.
The Circuit was printed onto fabric using custom formulas and machinery built by THE CRATED. This device can be housed in any apparel exterior. In industry, the circuit would likely be housed in industrial textiles.
Textiles make up a large portion of our world. We wear them, sleep under them, sit on them, carry items in them and use them in industry. For such a ubiquitous material, our textiles are surprisingly dumb, yet our plastic devices are so smart.
So, what does a future full of smart textiles look like? The goal of this prototype was to advance smart apparel so that etextiles can become softer and more useful. THE CRATED, which have previously collaborated on fashion tech projects with Google, Zac Posen and The North Face, hopes that more companies collaborate with others to create unique products that are beautiful and functional.
Related: Read what THE CRATED’s founder Maddy Maxey thinks of the collaboration between Google and Levi’s.