Occasionally is good to gaze into the crystal ball and look at what we might be offered in outdoor clothing in a few years time.
But then again who was it that said ‘the best way to predict the future is to invent it’?
Innovation is the lifeblood of progress. I read this the other day where “would we be without Patent No. 608,845, the Internal Combustion Engine (held by Rudolf Diesel)? Or No. 2,717,437, a “Velvet-type fabric and method of producing same” (Velcro)?”
One of the most enticing offers must be in the development of solar cell technology and the use in the garment industry.
Solar cells built into coats, jackets and backpacks that can provide power for portable electronic devices sounds interesting. Yes it’s been tried many times over the last few years and there are examples of these on the market now. But traditional silicon-based cells are inflexible and therefore unsuited to textiles. But help may be on the way from flexible, organic solar cells printed on polymer foils, a new development in which the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (ISE), based in Freiburg, Germany, has been instrumental. Read more
and what about this one…
British contractor BAE Systems developed a wearable antenna that weaves into soldier’s uniforms, attaching to smartphones for communication, video chat and augmented reality.
Adding to all this there is now the reality that you outdoor garment manufacturer may actually know where you are. Spooky! If one of your garments is equipped with a tiny radio-frequency identification device (RFID), your location could be revealed without you knowing about it. RFIDs are chips that use radio waves to send data to a reader – which in turn can be connected to the web. Read more
Finally the World’s ‘lightest material’ unveiled by US engineers sounds like it might have potential for all of us that are obsessed with our outdoor gear weight. In their own words …The researchers say the material is 100 times lighter than Styrofoam and has “extraordinarily high energy absorption” properties now that is interesting. Read more
So if you believe in crystal balls our outdoor gear will get even lighter and much smarter. But then again who believes in crystal balls.
OK that’s all from me please share your outdoor gear crystal ball moments – 2012 and beyond