What will the future of Olympic high tech sportswear really be like in 4 to 8 years? Well, let me give you my best guess as a futurist and think tanker because I’d say things are starting to get mega-exiting when it comes to the future of sports apparel and attire. Let’s discuss this shall we, and I’ll give you a little insight to some interesting things I’ve learned on this topic.
In 2006 Peter Allan wrote an interesting paper titled; “Fashion in the Digital World – The Future is Now!” or at least it was back in 2006. Interestingly enough, much of his thoughts have materialized just as predicted, and had followed a similar path in the same vein of his well-outlined history of the machines which brought us from the 1700s to today in the textile industry.
Recently, DARPA had put out a solicitation to innovators and researchers to come up with a high-speed clothing (uniform) making machine which could run virtually human free, no labor. Why is this important? Simple, new theatres require new camouflage, and different environments require different solutions, and it takes far too long to put it out to bid and wait until those 100s of thousands of uniforms are delivered https://www.techinsightscorner.com/.
Of course, such a system could also play havoc on third world nations whose mainstay is textile work, employing millions of people, they simply would not be needed and their economies could literally implode with such a revolutionary device in the hands of a first world nation deciding to make their garments – all types – in country. See that point too?
Now then, what about the Olympic Uniforms and high-tech sportswear? Well, what if each uniform was made especially for the dimensions of the individual athlete based on their exact measurements the week of the event? Even if they’d lost weight or gained more muscle mass their uniform would be perfectly flawless, like a second skin. Imagine the difference that could make for the bobsled teams, swimmers, cyclists, track stars, divers, gymnasts, or skiers?
The reason I bring this up was I was reading an interesting article recently in the Wall Street Journal titled; “How Britain Won Cycling’s Tech Race,” by Paul Sonne and Jonathan Clegg. The article told of an elite British cyclist who stripped down naked, had himself painted, and then road in a wind tunnel. Wherever the paint came off there was were turbulent eddies which appeared, meaning more drag, thus, the uniforms would be tightened in those areas to prevent that turbulent drag while maintaining the airflow.
Now then, it is entirely possible to use a computer generated visual system hooked to a CADCAM module to design the uniform, and have it made in real time right then and there, almost as if it were a laser die cutting prototyping machine. Why not? All that technology exists right now today. If we used one of those strip search scanners at the TSA we could literally have an athlete walk through the machine and by the time they got to the other side their uniform would be done.