Allow me to warm you up, my shirt said.

A

She’s in Saint Petersburg. You’re in Panama. You miss her and decide to go beyond romantic emojis. You hug her. Haptically speaking, that is. The wearable app capable of tracking the serial number of her smart fabric-based sweater makes her feel your intention, thousands of miles away and every single bit through the internet. She hugs you back. Now the tiny, microscopic sensors in your clothing act to provide accurate pressure and motion on you. Welcome to clothing 2.0. These garments can understand your commands, store information, communicate with anything electronics, and transform themselves. They are the love child of – say – Google + Levi’s. Facebook meets Calvin Klein. They are just a few years away from us. I’m thinking in terms of user experience. Mind-blowing things like getting your blockchain-passport embedded in your turtleneck and sleeves to pass through airport security faster and easier than ever. What’s in the way to achieve all this? Standards, durability, and reliability are critical factors that impede the mass adoption of first prototypes in the market. There are lots of current challenges to be overcome as it tends to happen with cutting edge developments, but the billions of dollars to be made in this new industry are pushing things forward at an accelerated pace. And don’t forget wearable tech is not just for geeky fashion lovers: the military and police forces are in line too. You want to sense officers’ heart rates and other vitals in real time, to say the least. Adidas and Nike are at it too. They want to make you stronger, faster, and smarter. I think the hype is justified, but just as the world wasn’t exactly ready when SonyEricsson launched its P900 in the early 2000’s, the thing is we are still years away from getting the iPhones of clothing: expensive, fancy things that everyone willfully try on. But hey, you and I are early adopters: let them count us in.

By Aaron Benitez