March sees countries around the world celebrate International Women's Day, recognising the economic, social, political and cultural achievements of women everywhere. As part of this celebration, Apparel Resources has shone the spotlight on female designers, researchers and entrepreneurs who are shaping the future of wearable technology.
Wearable technology ("wearables") are a type of electronic device that can be found in clothing and accessories or, in more extreme examples, can even be embedded into users' bodies.
There is a growing interest among consumers in this category of fashion, and it is estimated that the smart clothing and e-textiles industry will grow to "US $ 15.09 billion by 2028 and may exceed US $ 30 billion by 2040".
Here are just some of the women leading the charge in wearable tech:
- Sabine Seymour, Founder of SUPA
SUPA's mission is to 'create concepts that tokenize biometric and environmental data'. The business produces high tech sports kit with built-in sensors that monitor the biometric data of the wearer. This allows the kit to produce individual fitness insights and guidance for the athlete.
- Billie Whitehouse, Founder and CEO of Wearable X
Wearable X have used haptic technology to develop the NadiX yoga leggings. These leggings too have built-in sensors, this time monitoring the wearer's body position. The leggings can then give audio and visual feedback to improve the wearer's yoga poses.
- Louise Nicholson, Founder of Fifty-One Apparel
Fifty-One Apparel use OUTLAST, a material developed by NASA to regulate astronauts' body temperatures, to produce temperature-regulating clothing aimed at women experiencing symptoms of the menopause.
Each of these women's creations will incorporate valuable Intellectual Property (IP) - from patents for the novel inventions, designs for the appearance of their creations, and trade marks for the names of their products and brands. However to fully harness the value of the IP in these new inventions and brands, businesses must identify that IP and ensure adequate protection is in place.