Smart clothes are fine.
When Levi’s teamed up with Google to make a denim jacket with smart sleeves, Gizmodo gave it a test wear and realised it showed there was potential for clothing that makes your life easier — say, by letting you waving your arm to change a song or answer a call.
But the smart chip-embedded clothing that Tommy Hilfiger announced today — Tommy Jeans Xplore — will not improve your life in any way.
The new clothing line, which pack smart tags made by Awear Solutions, hooks up to an iOS app over Bluetooth so the wearer can do challenges — such as collecting Tommy Hearts on an in-app map and wearing the Tommy smart clothes, which itself could be a challenge depending on the wearer’s fashion sense.
The app’s description suggests some of the awards could be products, gift cards, signed merchandise, or tickets to runway shows.
We asked a spokesperson for Tommy Hilfiger for comment about its smart clothes, but had not heard back at time of writing.
As TechCrunch points out, Tommy Hilfiger has attempted innovation over the last couple years, such as designing adaptive clothing for people with disabilities and working with FIT students to develop AI that can be used in trend forecasting.
But Tommy Jeans Xplore is full gimmick. According to the official company announcement shared in WWD, this new line and its accompanying app are meant to foster a “micro-community of brand ambassadors”.
Imagine, a legion of Tommy fans just stuck in a feedback loop of marketing — over-wearing logo-emblazoned hoodies with the hope of getting enough points to replenish their wardrobe before the season changes.
Actually, forget about clothes that make your life easier. Tommy is showing us a realistic vision of the future of smart clothes.