How concerned are you about your privacy? The topic was all over the news even before GDPR was implemented in Europe and is growing in importance as we walk into the future, with Artificial Intelligence requiring a wider range of data to deliver better results.
Protecting anonymity and information is not just a corporate issue these days. It is an individual and very personal problem. It also provides a great opportunity for innovation.
In the latest chapter, we presented the first part of our journey through the future of fashion and mobility, developing the concept of freedom as the first path of our report. The Fashion Future and Mobility Trend Report, a collaboration between ThePowerHouse and trend forecaster Cécile Poignant, is a deep study on future long-term trends from four angles: freedom, power, collective, and exclusive.
We started understanding the concept of freedom as a path to develop fashion innovation in regard to mobility challenges. We are going to continue the discussion exploring what it means in terms of design and business.
In May 2019, Mark Zuckerberg declared that “The Future is Private” at Facebook F8, the company’s annual developer conference. Considering the recent allegations against the social network about data leaking, and the audience present, it may suggest that the sentence is about privacy as the future of digital business. Developing new algorithms and enhancing structure to ensure the privacy of users’ data is a key strategy for Facebook to maintain its relevance and even to remain in business.
Nowadays, data is a huge business for tech companies. Information about consumption is one of the most valuable assets of e-commerce, for instance. Zalando has a team of in-house researchers dedicated to projects of Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence to enhance their knowledge of their customers’ data. Knowing your target market in depth, how they search, choose, buy and influence, are all important keys to success in business today.
That explains the move toward data protection and the current growth of privacy-related technologies that will take over several industries, including fashion. As we saw in the latest post, there are some designers who are already creating garments to protect ourselves from unintentional data exposure. We all know that there is a massive amount of personal data being collected all the time and that we can’t control it — yet.
“A characteristic of this new world of ambient surveillance is that we cannot opt out of it, any more than we might opt out of automobile culture by refusing to drive. However sincere our commitment to walking, the world around us would still be a world built for cars. We would still have to contend with roads, traffic jams, air pollution, and run the risk of being hit by a bus.”
The quote above is a statement to the US Senate from Maciej Cegłowski, Founder of Pinboard. He offered an interesting perspective about the future that directly relates to the political policies surrounding data information. We can’t stop being part of it.
Even if you avoid providing information and try to be unplugged as much as possible, we are still living in the age of data. Any simple purchase we’ve made generates information as much as our phone calls, the series we watch– or the ones we decide not to watch– on Netflix.
Artificial Intelligence, machine learning, and data collecting are the new bad guys. At the same time, they are also the good guys. As it becomes easier to collect data, they also creates paths to protect us and to anticipate danger in terms of privacy.
Along with new materials, this combination of data and fashion could generate valuable future assets to develop smart garments. Clothing created to protect our privacy and promote our desired feeling of freedom. This urge for freedom could lead to some specific design trends, as described by Cécile Poignant:
– The first one is about blind design, which means the special details on garments are almost invisible. Between new ways to make stitches and hidden buttons, privacy will be considered for all parts of a garment, keeping the user unnoticeable.
– Then we have the silent products, accessories and clothes designed to keep people apart from the connected environment. These could be noise-reduction earplugs, gadgets to avoid notifications and interruptions, hoodies to protect from external distraction.
– Still working on the sense of freedom, there are disconnection products, which are items that could give us the choice to be unplugged. This may include fabrics that work as a shield which is capable of disconnecting us from signals, noises, and whatever else is going on outside.
– Finally, let’s explore the connection between freedom and low-tech transportation. This minimalistic approach relates the idea of being free to the necessity of simpler ways to move around the city. It is about all kinds of transportation on wheels, like the scooters we already see on the streets all around the world. The main idea of low-tech transportation is to be able to use body energy to move around. It is totally eco-friendly and renewable.
Today we are facing privacy problems regarding digital data collected on our gadgets, but these design trend examples show that we are about to deal with bigger challenges to keep ourselves safe and anonymous. Although there are great opportunities for innovation in different industries, the key is to keep our eyes wide open to what’s coming.
In the next chapters, we will continue to explore The Future Fashion and Mobility Report, and introduce the next path– power. If you would like to read the entire report now, please contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org