When you think wearables, you probably picture an athletic watch or a clunky wristband… maybe a digital disc hanging off your key ring. On our quest for more wearables with women in mind, we have been so focused on jewelry that we have been forgetting about the essentials: our clothes, duh. With a marriage we hope lasts forever, the Wearable Experiment is pairing functional fashion with technology for a GPS-guided blazer that will make sure you get to your destination without having to rely on your phone.
The Navigate Jacket uses integrated LED lighting and haptic feedback (the use of the sense of touch) to guide you wherever you tell it you’re going. Using an app on your smartphone, you share what Point B is. After that, put your phone back in your purse so Navigate can come through for you. While you’re walking, it will use the subtle lights in the sleeves to show you which way to turn and share how far along you are in your little journey. Gentle vibrations tell you when to turn and in which direction.
We are all about finding better solutions for getting around. We loved the idea of TransitScreen’s sidewalk projections guiding pedestrians to nearby landmarks and trains, but a system like that won’t help you find the way to your BFF’s new apt like Navigate could.
And more than you can say about so many wearables ready-to-wear right now, we even like the look of the blazer. Navigate looks like what Chuck Bass might wear to his 10-year high school reunion, jetting back to the Big Apple from his perch as CEO of a Silicon Valley startup incubator. It doesn’t look like something the Jetsons would sport, or Effie would wear on her day off at The Capitol. The jacket was designed so that its technology would be subtle, the type of thing you would tell someone and watch their jaws drop. Just like yours did when you started reading this, admit it ;)
Even if you’ve dwelled in your city for years, there’s always a new job, a must-try bar or another assorted adventure around the corner. Google might be your go-to, but what if you could access it way more easily without having a phone in your hand… or a little computer on your head. We think Navigate has a bright future and hope others follow suit. You can’t shop them on at H&M just yet, but we’ll let you know if/when you can (hi, see you there!).
‘Til then, we hope some of our favorite map and location-based apps link up with emerging technologies like this. Imagine gesture-controlled FourSquare check-ins at your sleeve, sunglasses that could snap a geo-tagged pic, a hoodie that tells you what time the next bus leaves. And, since we’re oh-so-close to summer, we’ll take a bikini that alerts you when the water is at its ideal temp, thanks very much.
Would you wear Navigate Jacket? What other article of clothing could you see getting the tech treatment?