What’s next for wearables. No, it’s not the “internet of thongs”

While watches and wristbands are the devices du jour for wearable computing, new technologies are coming that will integrate computing even deeper into the fabric of our lives. Literally.

Davide Vigano, the co-founder and CEO of Sensoria, was on stage at Gigaom’s Structure Connect show on Wednesday discussing how his company is weaving sensors right into clothing in order to provide data about stuff never before measurable. We may not be on a path to “the internet of thongs,” he joked in reference to the current internet of things movement, but we’re close. Sensoria is already making socks, T-shirts and sports bras with sensors built into them.

In the future, sensors could actually be woven directly into textiles. That could be a big deal because clothes that are smart by default would eliminate what Vigano calls a “baby treasure hunt” for devices every morning. “Any time you actually ask a consumer to change his behavior, that’s super challenging,” he said.

Asked about what type of interface is required for that level of embedded technology, Vigano suggested we probably need to move beyond screens and into audio interfaces, or perhaps even visual ones via Google-Glass-like devices. “There are some senses that have not been explored completely,” he said.

However, fellow panelist Euro Beinat, the vice president of platform technologies for Zebra Technologies, noted that screens do have one big advantage in that they remind people to interact with their technology. Whatever interfaces wearables take, they’ll need to remind users they’re “alive” or risk becoming a recipe for trouble.

“Some sort of life signs,” he said, “is always a positive.”

Photo by Jakub Mosur

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