Workwear evolution - what does the future hold?

It's safe to say that technology over the past 20 years has come on in leaps and bounds. Everything from televisions, mobile phones, video game consoles, car and much more have accelerated in ways we could never have imagined - fancy telling somebody playing snake on their phone back in the mid 90's that they're going to be able to watch movies, order their shopping and much more on a phone with no physical buttons!

But whilst electronics and other mediums have benefit from leaps in technological advancement, workwear has yet to make a true to form "next generation" leap. What does the future hold in terms of workwear and safety? We're going to take a look at a few of the exciting possibilities in the future of workwear.

Illuminated Clothing

Hi-vis may be a thing of the past
Hi vis might be a thing of the past

Its a worrying statistic, but on average the number of fatal road related accidents increases by up to 400% in low light conditions. This applies to pedestrians on their travels, and workers on roadsides. Typically the professional workers are bound by law to wear high visibility garments at all times, but no pedestrian is likely to wear a high vis jacket - its hardly a flattering look.

However, recent advancements in illumination technology might just hold the key to an exciting safety breakthrough. By infusing items with EL fabrics and a series of microprocessors, it now may be possible for any item of clothing to effectively become an illuminated safety garment, changing the way we look at safetywear and protective clothing forever. Forget low-light clothing, the future is no-light clothing.

Reflective strips could become a thing of the past, with lights interwoven into the fabrics themselves, capable of turning a bog standard T-shirt into a light show - lets face it, you're not going to miss somebody if they're lit up like a Christmas tree!

Advanced Cooling Polymers

A close-up of Omni-Freeze fabric
A close-up of Omni-Freeze fabric

Working indoors and out, you know after a few hours hard work that you're going to build up a sweat. There are currently a whole host of specialist fibres and garments which provide moisture transportation and effective cooling methods - but wouldn't it be much "cooler" if these shirts actually reacted to your body heat, and cooled you down?

Sportswear brand Colombia are gearing up to release their Omni-Freeze ZERO range in 2013. These shirts and shorts, and in future - trainers, incorporate special polymers which react to body sweat, and expand to increase airflow around the garment. Colombia claim this new technology is that efficient, its actually cooler than taking your top off altogether! Its unclear about any further applications, but it promotes an exciting step forward, and has some brilliant uses if it was effectively combined with workwear in the future.

Heads up displays (HUD)

Female wearing google glass HUD
Google's head up display

Google's Project Glass was announced earlier in the year, creating a massive media buzz that in the future you will be able to use augmented glasses, which could pave the way for a million different possibilities. Imagine for the business owner on the move - being able to read your e-mails, video call, send files and share documents via a pair of glasses? What about if you're a delivery driver? Google maps overlay giving you detailed route information, such as directions to your next delivery, traffic information - you're never going to get lost again.

This could also have applications in medical and health-care sectors, and when combined with other technologies, could even provide you with the health status, and location of work colleagues or clients when working large sites, shaving vital seconds off of reaction times to accidents and emergencies.

These are just some of the possibilities in the future, with technology moving forward at the rate it is, then its only a matter of time before things such as the examples above become mainstream, commonplace sights in our day to day lives.

What would you like to see in the future in your workplace? leave a comment below and let us know!

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