Coming back tired but energized from the great things I have seen around wearable electronic during a full day of walking and talking with interesting people in the smart textile area of the TechTextil trade show in Frankfurt, Germany, here are my first impressions:
The floor area dedicated for wearable electronic has been a bit smaller compared to my last visit in 2007 as the quantity of companies present in the wearable electronic area has reduced as well.
During various discussion with some people I sense the message that wearable electronic might not have the sensational effect anymore it had a few years ago or it does not take off as business as many expected.
Listening to such comments and watching carefully what is actually happening here on the show floor and out in the business, I do not share such ‘fears’ about wearable electronic.
My view is that wearable electronic is going through a much needed cycle of consultation and orientation after years of hyper speed and hyper attention it got in the business and research communities as well as the media.
For a new and revolutionary technology as wearable electronic is, the imagination and creativity of the possibilities wearable technologies can provide leaded often to expectations that do not reflect the technical development status. Sometimes too much optimism on all sides gave the impression every and any concept demonstrator can be purchased next fashion season.
It comes as no surprise to me that people need to slow down and work out more sustainable product designs and not just another concept demonstrator. People need to step back and evaluate the achievements and the learning done during the first pioneering days of wearable electronic.
Judging on the ‘second generation’ of wearable electronic companies if have seen and talked to during my visit, some evolving from the first generation like Fibretronic or InteractiveWear joined by new comers like Novanex, Intelligent Textiles Limited or Inntex to name a few, I am more than ever confident that wearable electronic will take it’s place in the limelight and take over the headlines again after this much needed recharging phase.
Stay tuned for detailed reviews of all these great companies I talked with, the small and big innovation they have up their sleeves and the vision they share about wearable electronic.