The New Fabric of Our Lives?

IDSA Board Chair Emeritus Touts Next Gen of Wearable Tech

Oct 6 2015 - 1:19pm

Get ready for threadcasting, a new model for wearables that’s poised to take mobile computing connections off your wrist and out of your pockets and weave them into the fabric of your clothing.”

--Skip Newberry, president of the Technology Association of Oregon, Portland Business Journal.

A past Chair and the current Chair Emeritus of IDSA’s Board of Directors—Charles Austen Angell, IDSA—is president and CEO of Modern Edge, based in Portland, OR.  His firm teamed up with Oregon State University to research what Modern Edge has coined as Threadcasting.

“Wearable technologies were originally envisioned as embedded electronics in consumer apparel, but instead developed into standalone accessories for health and fitness tracking, communication and productivity,” writes Stephanie Battista, senior strategist, wearables, at Modern Edge who penned the white paper. “We see wearables going back into apparel at significant consumer scale.  Catalysts for the shift include:

  • improved battery chemistries;
  • smaller, lighter, less expensive components;
  • a shared ecosystem with other internet-of-things nodes;
  • improved wireless networking protocols;
  • as well as strategic business cases driven by the apparel industry.”

Battista says, “If you study groups of young people, many of the interchanges they have even when physically together are through their devices. If some of the communication technology they use could be part of their clothing and not a separate device, it could work to encourage more personal interactions between people.”

Threadcasting is getting global attention. At the 10th annual All That Matters in Singapore this spring, Battista was interviewed by Hugh Forrest, director, Interactive Festival at South by Southwest (SXSW). The talk, entitled “The Future of Tech: How Will Wearables Reality Change the way we Consume Content,” addressed “What are the most exciting tech that will be adopted quickly by consumers?” and “How are wearables being utilized for the entertainment industry?”