H&M's technology chief wants clothes to compete with wearables | Tech News

H&M's technology chief wants clothes to compete with wearables

H&M’s Chief Technology Officer is trying to make smart clothing mainstream by competing with wearables.

| Updated on: Nov 15 2021, 00:51 IST
H&M partnered with fashion-tech company to create a jacket that can mimic a hug. But it did not take off and many fear the same for its wearables push. (Bloomberg)

H&M's chief technology officer is trying to make smart clothing mainstream, at a time when clothing manufacturers are struggling with complex supply chains and environmental pressure. Alan Boehme is examining how H&M's clothes could monitor your heart rate or hydration levels, and how artificial intelligence could shrink H&M's supply chain, potentially decreasing the company's carbon footprint. In September, H&M couldn't keep up with demand because of delays and disruptions of product flows.

The Swedish company's tech-focus comes at a crucial time for the clothing industry, as people increasingly move from shopping at brick and mortar stores to shopping online; and fast fashion brands come under fire for their often negative environmental impact.

You may be interested in

MobilesTablets Laptops
7% OFF
Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max
  • Black Titanium
  • 8 GB RAM
  • 256 GB Storage
Google Pixel 8 Pro
  • Obsidian
  • 12 GB RAM
  • 128 GB Storage
34% OFF
Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra 5G
  • Green
  • 12 GB RAM
  • 256 GB Storage
Apple iPhone 15 Plus
  • Black
  • 6 GB RAM
  • 128 GB Storage

Clothing companies have been experimenting on how to integrate technology into garments, which so far have struggled to gain meaningful sales. Levi's produced a run of jackets with Google, which used bluetooth in the cuffs to communicate with your smartphone, while Nadi X makes yoga gear that uses vibrations to improve your technique.

Also read
Looking for a smartphone? To check mobile finder click here.

H&M partnered with fashion-tech company Boltware during the pandemic to create a denim jacket that can mimic a hug. Consumers were allowed to vote if the design would be be developed, but demand was not strong enough to make the jacket available for sale.

In comparison wearables from giants such as Apple Inc. have boomed. Apple's smartwatches have been one of its fastest growing products.

Boehme is aware his vision of the future faces hurdles. Making clothes that can sync to 5G would be difficult in countries with low network penetration.

“All of the components are there,” Boehme said in an interview. “It's the ability to uniquely put things together in patterns that we as individuals or as society have not yet done.”

Boehme, who worked as a technology innovation officer at Procter & Gamble and Coca-Cola before he was hired by H&M in 2020, insists this technology is not far off.

To make clothing more sustainable, H&M has worked with the Hong Kong Research Institute of Textiles and Apparel to build a machine that can take apart unwanted clothes and turn them into new products.

The fashion industry faces an uphill battle on its climate claims. It was responsible for about 4% of all greenhouses gases produced by humans in 2018, according to the nonprofit Global Fashion Agenda. If the industry were a country, it would be the world's fourth-largest emitter after China, the U.S., and India.

Catch all the Latest Tech News, Mobile News, Laptop News, Gaming news, Wearables News , How To News, also keep up with us on Whatsapp channel,Twitter, Facebook, Google News, and Instagram. For our latest videos, subscribe to our YouTube channel.

First Published Date: 15 Nov, 00:51 IST

Best Deals For You