The above picture published in the ISPO News Magazine of Messe Munchen in the July 2014 issue, along with the interview with Futurologist Thomas Strobel of the Munich-based company Fenwis GmbH, says it all. Strobel is described as a highly experienced expert in moderating teams on the way of doing the thinkable instead of thinking the doable.
Thomas Strobel and Klaus Jansen (of Berlin Textile Research Council) have come out with “Perspectives 2025” according to which textiles of the future are going to revolutionize the way we look at (and use) clothing.
According to Strobel, in 2025 there will be no reason to carry a separate cell phone because chips and applications integrated into our ‘smart’ washable clothes will take over telecommunications. Our apparel will heat or cool us, and any kind of stains will be a thing of the past. Thanks to special nanotech finishing treatments, we will have very durable self-cleaning textiles. The mobile apps will take care of the fashion aspects of clothing with the use of color-changing materials capable of providing millions of colors. Functional textile surfaces are able to glow, heat, cool, transport air and light or display information. Smart textiles of 2025 are going to be so intelligent that they will be capable of monitoring, recording and evaluating our vital health parameters continuously. If any discrepancy or disorder is detected, the apps would recommend to see a doctor just like the computer in our car, which triggers a lamp whenever a particular service is needed.
In the far future of 2050, the new class of textiles could be expected to be used as flexible and bendable displays hanging on walls replacing the bulky flat screen TVs of today. We can also expect such displays being used in disposable (just use once, and throw) mobile phones to address the issues related with privacy, viruses and hacking. The research in the field of new materials – call it bio-polymers, nanotech or functionalized – is going to be a real game changer making it possible to produce specialty fibers/fabrics for any desired high-tech application.
Are we in India ready for 2025? I doubt we are.