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Trend Q&A: Fabrics of the future and more

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WGSN Original Image, Possessed Photography/Unsplash
May 04, 2022 By WGSN Insider

The fabrics of the future, addressing the ageing population and designing consumer electronics for hybrid working. That and more on today’s episode.

Want to know what’s next? Listen to the show where our experts from around the globe unpack your biggest challenges. This week, WGSN’s President and CEO Carla Buzasi takes us to Singapore, London, Denver and San Francisco for a special episode on the future of technology for the consumer. Hear from the friendly faces of our Consumer Tech team.

Watch the full episode below or read on for highlights of this episode:

Q: Which types of consumer tech do you expect to shape modern smart homes the most?
“Artificial intelligence will shape the future – more specifically, a central AI that is context-aware and not only understands the homeowner’s behaviour, but also orchestrates various smart devices in the home. 

“It’s about a home assistant that sees you’re hosting friends tonight and automatically gets the robot vacuum to mop the floors while getting the smart fridge to defrost the chicken. Instead of having to command the tech to do things, people want the tech to work seamlessly around them.”
– Neo Ping, Analyst, WGSN Consumer Tech
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Q: What are the fabrics of the future?
“The most exciting innovation in the textile space is augmented textiles that have tech components built in. This means sensors, switches and other electronic components are woven into the material and conductive yarns connect them to a power source.

Another interesting area of development is 3D printing, which is being used to create fabrics with specific properties by utilising customised flexible filaments with different durometers and combining them to create unique textiles.
– Reiko Morrison, Head of CMF, WGSN Consumer Tech
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Q: The combo of an ageing population and long Covid-19 has consumers with neurological changes being added to the disability experience. How is this future driver being addressed?
“The tech industry is starting to focus on designing for disability and accessibility. One area of innovation is within ambient technology. So fitting sensors within a space to gather an understanding of what a person is doing and what they might want to do next. Ethical concerns need to be kept top of mind at all times, particularly around data collection and making assumptions about how people might want or need to be assisted.”
– Sarah Housley, Head of Consumer Tech, WGSN
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Q: How will hybrid work influence the design of consumer tech?
“For hybrid work, brands must pay attention to the fine balance of the live, work and play dynamic. Life in transition requires work to be flexible. The same goes for the adaptable work gear that people will want to use. Design product experiences that enable easy multitasking from multiple locations and give consumers the freedom to adapt as they see fit.”
– Lisa Yong, Director of Consumer Tech, WGSN
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