Key Takeaways from Future Technologies Presentation for LCF

On 26th April 2022, I gave a presentation to Fashion Sportswear students from LCF on new innovations shaping the sports industry. Here are the key takeaways from that conversation.

On 26th April 2022, I gave a presentation to LCF’s Fashion Sportswear students on how technology has been helping the sportswear industry be more sustainable and more ethical.

Starting by first defining wearable technology, the talk introduced the students to exciting projects that have helped wearables find their voice in today’s world.

Touching on key trends and the limitless possibilities that new innovations bring to the sports industry, the presentation’s objective was to help the students develop exciting concepts of integrating technology within the sportswear industry.

Here are key takeaways from the presentation:

*”Wearable technology” refers to any device attached to the body—that is, worn on the person, like a bracelet, ring or embedded clothing and gear. A great example of a wearable tech device is your Apple Watch.

*Wearables have the power to allow us to rethink and reimagine the body. It is a fact that has led to questions like how close will we live with technology in the future? How will we utilise it? And how will it change us? 

*Wearable technology makes it possible for us to head toward a world where bodily enhancements are the next step in our evolution.

*Most wearables gained momentum in 2014; fast forward to 2022, wearable devices continue to rise in consumers and corporations. They not only promote better health in sports but also in everyday life.

*Wearables offer convenience. The downside is that they are still commanding a high price point, and also, the technology is still not quite there yet.

*Wearables in sports are thriving, and one of the reasons is that there are many different types of wearable tech in sports.

*The fashion industry is still at the ‘why we need them’ stage, while the sports industry has taken a evolve or die approach to innovation.

*The sportswear industry always strives to design technologically advanced and technically innovative apparel.

*Technological innovation has changed how we interact with sport; it has practically changed the sport itself.

*Nike has found a way to communicate its direction both to the consumer and the competition.

*Whenever I think of trending innovation, I break it down into three stages: the technology that is still trying to convince us, the technology that has nearly convinced us and the technology that has finally convinced us of its value.

*There are currently two main trends in the sports industry leading the charge. They are ‘digitalisation’ and ‘sustainability’.

*Under pressure to become digital-first, digital transformation not only influences everyday life; it is transforming an entire industry. 

*Sportswear brands are showing that it is possible to promote sustainability through digital design and production tools.

*Adidas focuses on addressing its environmental impact by making sustainability apparent in its business structure, focusing on reducing emissions, waste, and water. 

*Nike’s multi-faceted approach has led to accusations that the sports giant uses innovation as more of a marketing campaign and performative activism disguised as new initiatives. That being said, one cannot also deny that they have been paving the way to make considerable changes in the sports sector.

*The Innovations changing the game in sports include NFTs & Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Neuroscience, Virtual Reality and garments. 

*Technology Doping is a term that refers to the unfair advantages an athlete or team may gain from technology. So is technology in sports a competitive edge or an unfair advantage?

*Some of the concerns around using technology in sports include the fear that skills may deteriorate because players/teams become over-reliant on the latest technology. Also, the cost; not all sports/teams/individuals can afford the newest technology puts them at a disadvantage over those who can afford it.

*The sports industry still has a way to go, especially when achieving sustainability. Their efforts need a greater degree of transparency.

Watch the full presentation.