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What an exciting past couple months it’s been for us bloggers! We’ve heard from each other and social media gurus in the past few months at a variety of conferences on the increasing importance of technology on the fashion industry. From the IFB Conference to SXSW, the overall vibe on the scene is optimistic; fashion blogging is ever increasingly validated as more successful cases of the marriage of fashion and technology emerge.
Whether it’s micro-blogging with Tumblr or augmented reality applications on the iPhone, the one thing that’s certain about both fashion and technology is that the landscape changes constantly. So, to help keep us bloggers up-to-date and in the know, I wanted to share some of the top tech trends in fashion.
Let’s be honest here. A year and some ago, most people hadn’t even heard of tablet computing. Everyone was certain that netbooks would be the next generation of portable computing. When the iPad was announced, many people were skeptical of it, contending that a netbook was much more viable.
However, the statistics don’t lie – by the end of 2016, Gartner predicts there will be 55 million tablets in use worldwide. Most of the growth to date has been driven by the iPad alone, but something on the order of 40 new tablets are expected to enter the market this year. More importantly, the applications that drive the content available on tablets are critical for fashion firms to be savvy of. Creating tablet and mobile applications will become more important than ever.
From LVMH’s NOWNESS to the Net-A-Porter’s magazine, firms have been experimenting with the notion that firms can also produce interesting content that is interesting enough to stand along yet still brands their own image. This trend has actually been around for a while, and in some rings was called “Retail 2.0″, or content driven commerce.
In it’s current buzz word, we call it “branded content”. Either way, Mashable.com documents the success of firms integrating genuine, consumable content with branded marketing messages.
The technology here is still developing, but technologists believe that in the next couple of years, we will see the emergence of augmented reality applications. The challenge here in my mind is not so much the technical issues involving the overlaying of a digital layer on top of our visual reality, but rather integrating the technology seamlessly into our experience without coming off as hokey. Some brands have tried to use augmented reality in their marketing, only to product a one-time contest gimmick that was clunky and hard to use. Here are some great examples of current augmented reality applications .
I’m going to stick my neck out a bit and put 3-D content as a viable trend. When I attended PAX East, the world’s largest 3-D television was on display. I was blown away by the immersion of the visuals and immediately thought of how amazing it would be to watch a fashion show in 3-D. When i say 3-D, I am referring to the current generation of polarized glasses that create a truly seamless 3-D experience and not the cheap red-blue glasses that some brands, such as Armani Exchange, tried to use in a marketing campaign. To give you a sense of just how mainstream this technology will be, the Nintendo 3DS , coming out in a week, has a 3-D screen (you don’t even need glasses to get the effect). The DS is the successor to the Gameboy (remember that?) and will be bought by millions of young children and teens throughout the world. If a game system is using 3-D technology, then it’s definitely an indicator that other industries should follow suit and try to use 3-D technology too. If you are interested in learning how 3-D works without the glasses, see this article.