3 predictions for the future of athletic wear, according to Under Armour
So we can only imagine what the future of sports gear will be like.Under Armour's Head of Innovation, Kevin Haley, has some predictions. In an interview with Tech Insider, he told us what athletes may use in the next decade.
"In 10 years at Under Armour, we'll be making things that no one has conceived of yet," he says.
Here are his predictions.
We will connect to our sneakers and clothing.
Smartphone-connected fitness clothing has become more popular in the past few years. The three top athletic brands - Nike, Adidas, and UA - have all come out with gear that connects to your smartphone.
For example, according to Recode, Nike is working on body sensors that monitor movement and stream stats to your phone. The brand also sells a sensor that attaches to its shoes and pairs with its running app (although UA seems to be betting more on wearable devices than Nike).In July, Under Armour will also release its latest pair of sensor-embedded sneakers. Called the Speedform Gemini 2 Record Equipped, the shoes will track and store runs in real-time, and send the stats to your phone whether or not it's close by.
Haley says he anticipates even more growth in connected apparel. This may come in the form of more advanced sensors that are embedded right into your shirts and shoes. They'll track more nuanced biometric data, like acceleration and G-force, and help athlete's train better.
Everyone will have shape-shifting clothing and sneakers.
In the future, Haley predicts we will have biotech clothing that can transform into whatever we want.
With a built-in temperature tracker, a shirt could sense if you're hot or cold, and change its temperature and sleeve length accordingly. And he speculates we'll be able to change the color of our sneakers and clothing instantly (though he's not exactly sure how, since the technology to make clothing shift colors isn't here yet).
Individuals will only need to own one set of workout clothing, Haley says.
"If you had one product that you could wear in the snow and in the blazing hot sun ... so that you are always comfortable, why would you have another product?" he says.
Manufacturing techniques will improve, giving athletes even more high-performance apparel.
UA just opened a 140,000-square-foot lab with the goal to re-think how sports gear is made. Called the Lighthouse, it features UA's latest manufacturing technology, including robots that make sneakers and 3D body scanners that help make custom clothing.
"We're just now on the cusp of figuring out the best manufacturing and design techniques," Haley says.