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Future Fashion: 10 Wearable Tech Trends to Watch

Futuristic Fashionware

Jason Verschoor | E+ | Getty Images

Wearable technology is all the rage, but the craze goes beyond connected eyewear such as Google Glass and smart timepieces such as Apple's rumored iWatch.

Designers are creating apparel, accessories and fitness wear that can do everything from monitor your heart rate to charge your smartphone.

Here's a look at some of the haute tech trends in fashion.

Charge It

Image source: Wearable Solar

Someday you may be able to charge your smartphone with your clothes. Flexible solar panels have inspired designers to come up with clothes and accessories that can power electronics.

Start-up Wearable Solar is using the technology to make lightweight wired garments that enable the wearer to charge a smartphone up to 50 percent if worn in the sun for a full hour.

And New York-based Voltaic Systems makes a collection of bags that can charge a variety of devices.

Baubles and Bangles

Image source: Electrolux Design Lab

In the future, our own personal air purifier may defend us from all that nasty air outside.

Worn on the wrist, the Hand Tree design sucks up and filters polluted air, and recycles it back into the atmosphere. It was created by Alexandr Kostin, a semifinalist in the Electrolux Design Lab Competition.

The purifier gas a refillable carbon filter, a rechargeable battery and an organic light-emitting diode screen.

Don't Just Stand There

Image source: Rainbow Winters

Some sharp people want to make our clothing to, well, do more.

Amy Winters, the designer of the Rainbow Winters clothing line, makes garments that respond to their environment.

For example, the dress is made with holographic leather and reacts to sound. As volume increases, it begins to illuminate and make what Winters describes as "visual music." The bathing suit reacts to light, with the center panel turning into purple dots in the sun.

Trackable Couture

Asher Levine wearable Bluetooth technology
Image source: Asher Levine

Things can get lost pretty easily in those massive walk-in closets.

In his fall 2013 collection, fashion designer Asher Levine included tracking chips that let items be located by the owner using a customized TrackR app.

Levine, who has created looks for Lady GaGa and will.i.am., partnered with Bluetooth solutions company Phone Halo on the chip.

Get Off the Sidewalk!

Image source: Adafruit Industries

City bike-sharing programs such as New York's Citi Bike may be great, but the stations may be a bit hard to find without a map.

Adafruit, a company that sells DIY electronics and kits, has built a helmet to help make that process more efficient. It has a built-in navigation system that uses lights that flash on the left or right to let the rider know where to turn.

The interface is still a bit complicated, though: The user has to manually enter the coordinates of a destination, but it is still safer than trying to use a smartphone while riding.

You Lookin' at Me?

Source: Ying Gao

Using eye-tracking technology, fashion designer Ying Gao has created a set of dresses that move when someone is looking at them.

When the garment is gazed at for a time, tiny motors move parts of it in patterns.

The dresses also glow. covered in photo-luminescent thread or featuring glow-in-the-dark threads that make up the base layer of fabric.

Sounds That Carry

Stella Audio Clutch by Rebecca Minkoff
Image Source: Stella Audio

The merger of technology and high-end accessory design is a definite trend.

Handbag designer Rebecca Minkoff has made four clutches that encase speakers for Stellé Audio Couture.

A Sock With a Message

Sensoria Smart Sock
Image source: Sensoria | Indiegogo

The start-up Heapsylon has a smart sock, Sensoria, that is paired with an anklet to automatically detect the type and level of activity based on pressure signals coming from the foot of the wearer.

Sensors in the sock communicate data to the anklet, which then can relay the information to the user via an app.

For example, it can track a runner's regular form and send an alert when he or she is making an injurious movement.

Close to the Heart

Textronics Wearable Sports Bra.
Image Source: Textronics Inc.

Even more intimate than smart socks, intelligent sports bras can track users' performance.

This NuMetrix sports bar, made by Textronics, has a small transmitter that snaps to the garment to tracks a user's heart rate.

Light It Up

Moon Berlin LED lights and fashion.
Image source: Moon Berlin | Facebook

Berlin-based label Moon Berlin, which makes luxury clothing, focuses on using technology to enhance the look of its designs.

Soft-circuit LEDs are integrated into the garments, connected to an electrical circuit attached to rubber-like materials that are integrated into fabrics.