Most recent IoT-related forecasts have focused on its growth in the next five years in various sectors, including connected cars and medical devices. Although most discussions have covered the lack of proper security strategies behind these devices, IoT keeps evolving. High-tech clothing is now a reality.
It was only natural for the bracelet craze to move to more sophisticated gadgets to improve comfort and health. For now, it looks like fitness lovers are in the spotlight with both big-league brands and startups struggling to build the finest bras, shirts, shorts and many other articles of clothing to win them over. Some of these smart clothes are already available, while others are either prototypes or soon to be released.
Whether you’re taking the stairs with the groceries or sweating on the treadmill, you can get analytics and notifications in real-time about your physical activity. These gadgets monitor calories burned, activity, sleep and heart rate, among others, and connect to your smartphone via Bluetooth to document your daily workout. You’d think these were for professional athletes, but even Victoria’s Secret is working its way to IoT. The lingerie company has already released a sports bra with a heart monitor.
Besides smart bras, running shorts with sensors, leggings that measure your shape for easier shopping and smart shirts that change color based on the intensity of your workout, companies are prospecting mainstream wearables like connected suits, jewelry, underwear and socks for health metrics.
But where is security in all this? Connected devices are revolutionizing the way information is delivered but they still raise privacy concerns because they hold valuable personal information like daily activities, geolocation and various preferences. If manufacturers don’t develop security measures to fight vulnerabilities, consumers’ personal data will be exposed to cybercriminals. Should payment functionalities also be incorporated into smart clothes, users will easily be prone to identity theft, fraud, surveillance and other crimes.