Are robots the future of the fashion industry?
Already fashion robots, also known as artificial intelligence have been made that can do everything from sew your clothes, style your wardrobe, fold your laundry and can be actually embedded in your clothes, turning your ordinary jacket into a smart piece of clothing. Robots still seem a bit weird, a bit scary, I still imagine them taking over everthing and everyone like in a cheesy sci-fi film. As an owner for sometime of a Alexa Amazon Echo I have however already started the move towards AI being part of my life, having conversations with it about music and the weather. Like Amazon Echo the fashion robots below seem safe enough, the only danger is jobs being taken away from workers and some fashion experts have warned of a second industrial revolution coming in fashion.
Sewbo is a company that have invented a machine that can sew clothes together, the fabric first has to be coated in a special chemical to make it hard for sewing and then it is washed off afterwards. You still need a sewing machine, Sewbo is like a robotic arm that guides the fabric through the machine and puts the piece together to be sewn, it is quite amazing to watch how intelligent this machine is at working out how all the clothes pieces go together.
The perks are no more human machinists, which also means no slave labour in factories something the fashion industry is notorious for, however will it be worse for people in developing countries if they are unable even to have a job and earn any money for food whatever the conditions.
Fold I Mate
Fold I Mate is quite simply a machine that folds your laundry into a neat pile, the company aim to have this machine for sale in 2019 for approximately $1000. Nothing like this has ever been seen before and it is quite clever how the machine does it. I think this is the type of machine that would be good for businesses that do a lot of laundry folding, such as hotels, launderettes and shops. The machine is so big that I can’t see it being used in the home, folding laundry does not take-up so much of my time that I have ever felt the need for a machine like this, so it may only be used in industry.
When writing this article Echo look was available to buy by invitation only on Amazon. A free standing camera it works by taking full length photographs, videos of you in your outfit, that you can edit and up-load instantly onto social media, Instagram. Like Amazon Echo it has voice recognition, the idea is then that the Style Check app can give you advice about which outfits look best on you and put together looks for you based on its knowledge of fashion. It is programmed with design knowledge of what colours, fit, style trends generally look good together and will also learn from your social media feedback which styles are getting positive reactions. It can then also offer you items which you may wish to buy, linking to Amazon Prime Wardrobe and Stitch Fix. .
It is a great marketing tool for Amazon who really want to sell you more clothes and it is a great way for them to find more about your fashion shopping habits, it maybe more benefit to them then you as I question how needed the style advice is on a daily bases. Another issue is like Alexa records voices, the Echo Look records video and some people maybe worried about having a hand-free camera linking to Amazon set-up in your home at all times.
My last fashion robots are actually built into the garment, these examples are just prototypes, ideas and have a long way to go before they will be for sale. I have included them as I find it really interesting how moving robots can be used in fashion clothes. These built in mini robots do everything from change the pattern on your dress, put your hood-up when it rains and move your scarf as the temperature changes. To learn more check out the link, “Are creepy-crawly clothing robots the future of fashion?”.
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