Smart Fabrics & Wearable Technology 2014 has the an agenda boasting Reebok, Intel, IBM, Vuzix, Walt Disney and more. It's no secret that this conference provides the most comprehensive look at the industry providing key strategic insight from both the speaker and attendees.
We sat down with Paul Litchfield of Reebok who will present Reebok Wearable Electronics: Fit for Life to ask a few questions on the fitness forecast for wearable electronics. Paul Litchfield is Head of Reebok Advanced Concepts. One of the most influential product creation experts working in the athletic footwear, performance apparel, and sporting goods industry today, Paul currently holds over 160 granted patents and patents applications pending, and has been long regarded as one of the leading innovators in the field.
In your opinion why are wearable technologies and smart fabrics such an interesting fit for athletic applications? How do you see this field developing in the next 5 years?
For the fitness generation, the use of wearable electronics is the next opportunity to engage and inform them about their health and wellness. Smart fabrics and wearable technologies are pivotal as the delivery system for providing these biometric measurements to the user. Over the next 5 years, it is critical for wearable technologies and smart fabrics to provide an interface with the user that is transparent in the fit, feel and styling yet provides continuous data streams that will enable the fitness electronics systems to provide real-time pertinent biometric measurement.
If you had a wish list for a new wearable technology feature that could be implemented in your products, what would you wish for from technology developers?
The most important attributes for wearable technologies are to provide simple physiological performance measurements that assist the user in understanding the status of their health and wellness, in a way that does not interfere with nor restrict the natural movement of any fitness activity. The ideal wearable technology will be transparent for the consumer in use but will be apparent in the quality of information provided,
Can you tell us how Reebok's innovation process to meet the user experience (as opposed to technology push) demands for fitness monitoring?
In the Reebok Advanced Concepts (RAC) Group, we have a systematic methodology for the innovation process that focus's principally on addressing the needs of the user or providing a solution to what the user may be missing or needing. We have a defined and disciplined approach to identifying a project objective then specific steps leading from the initial designs through to the manufacturing and delivering the finished product. RAC creates partnerships with subject matter experts to create truly integrated teams that are singularly focused on the solution outputs for the user experience.
What are you most looking forward to learning about at Smart Fabrics and Wearable Technology 2014?
The most intriguing aspect of Smart Fabrics and Wearable Technology in 2014 is the significant number of subject matter experts that will be providing insights and perspectives that will help to inform us on the various directions of this exciting area. It will be an excellent opportunity to make connections and establish new relationships with industry experts and companies that provide everything from raw materials to finished components.