A protective addition to spring-summer fashion.
Smart clothes are traditional clothing items that have been enhanced with modern technology. Some feature meshed wiring woven into their fabric while others contain hardware that can connect to an iPhone or Android smartphone. Some even use advanced engineering that works on a chemical level to add additional futuristic functionality. From denim jackets that can track your Uber to tracksuits that bathe your body in Far Infrared light, smart clothes are well and truly here to stay. Or do they?
Why are we so fixated on watches and bands? The wearable tech market is full of fitness-obsessed products for workout-loving people with thick wrists and deep pockets. No one in the industry wants to admit it, but the wrist is probably not the best place to stick a bunch of sensors, and activity tracking may not even be the best use for all those sensors. If we want wearables to become truly wearable, companies need to start looking at the clothes we wear every day of our lives. And if we want those wearables to be truly useful, we need to think beyond step counting and create tech that gives actionable suggestions to improve our well-being.
A recent trend that I have noticed is bug-protective clothing. People have been struggling to protect themselves against insect borne diseases. Recently the dangers were highlighted by the emergence of novel diseases like the Zika virus and Lyme disease. This became particularly manifest in North-America and Europe as it sparked the demand for insect protection products.
Consumers discovered the favourite weapon of choice by armed forces around the world - insect proof clothing. Innovative textile manufacturers dived into this trend and there was no going back: insect proof textile is on the rise.
Mosquitoes may be the most annoying pests to ever fly, walk or crawl the earth. Nothing ruins a camping trip, a picnic or a backyard cookout like these blood-sucking insects. When you consider that mosquitoes have been pestering the inhabitants of our planet for 100 million years, you know it's not likely they're going to go anywhere anytime soon either. And they aren't just bothersome -- mosquito borne illnesses kill more people worldwide than anything else.
Most people might think these little vampires just feed on human blood like it's food. It's actually only the females that stick their little syringes, or proboscis, into your skin -- and draw blood to help develop their eggs. The lifespan of a female mosquito is only about three to 100 days, but that's enough time to put a dent into your summer fun. It's also enough time for a female mosquito to have anywhere from 1,000 to 3,000 baby mosquitoes. It doesn't take long for these little guys to grow up either -- they mature into adults in less than a week. And, if most of the mosquitoes in your yard look familiar, it's because they rarely travel more than a mile from where they were born. You may also notice that they tend to die down at night. That's because most mosquitoes do their work like you and me -- from dawn to dusk.
So what can you do to prevent these insects from infesting your yard, besides getting rid of standing water? Foggers and sprays are only effective for a few hours at a time and aren't exactly environmentally friendly. Bug zappers may be fun for the whole family, but they actually kill beneficial insects and attract mosquitoes without killing them.
Notre Dame University performed a study that showed a 10 percent increase in mosquito bites for people that had zappers in their yards. Citronella candles and smoking coils work, but only if you're extremely close to the smoke they emit. Bug sprays are an effective way to keep them from biting you, but ingredients like DEET have been shown to be toxic, especially for kids.
If none of these methods for achieving a mosquito-free life work for you, there's an alternative. It's not a spray and it doesn't emit smoke or a harmful, foul-smelling spray. It's a technology that's built into the clothes you wear. That's right, companies are now manufacturing insect-repellent clothing. All you do is put it on and relax.
Author Info: Josh Kerbiak
Josh Kerbiak is a renowned lifestyle influencer covering the outdoors across the united states and Canada for over 15 years. His Essays have included ‘Canoeing across the great deltas’ and ‘Yosemite – the unknown dangers under every rock’. An avid camper and historian, Josh and his family including wife Marsha and sons Jake and Josh Jr. speak extensively on not letting go of the basic pleasures in life and the perils of mass urbanization. They live on the road for most part of the summer before retiring to their winter retreat in Nevada.