As one of this year's advisory board members, and someone who has been involved with the WEAR conference for 3 years prior as an attendee, Ben Cooper from ioClothes recently sat down and gave us some insights into upcoming trends, challenges within the wearables industry, and why WEAR conference is the "best bang for your buck" in regards to industry events.
First, what is a new a challenge or a trend your excited about hearing?
One of the things that unifies the industry that is forming, because its composed of so many intricate parts and players, you know you’ve got folks that are going to be in the room that are apart of some of the largest and most recognizable footwear brands. And then all of a sudden you have some tech start up that is a bunch of software and hardware engineers and you know these worlds literally could not be any further apart. And so I think one of the things that is a barrier to growth of the industry is actually getting people on the same page. Getting them familiar with the unique challenges that their respective counter parts in these other parts of the greater eco-system are faced with. So I think that that’s something that I am excited to talk about, to work on and hopefully remedies, help facility better connections.
Can you share with us a little bit about that IoClothes is?
Sure! IoClothes is a platform providing resources and key insights to the professionals fusing technology and textiles. This user-focused platform provides ways to hear and interact with thought-leaders across the diverse landscape of the smart textiles and wearable technology community. It also showcases the ever-growing "Ecosystem" tool designed to help innovators efficiently find prospective collaborators throughout a variety of industries, and ultimately accelerate project efforts.
As someone who has attended for several year's now, what keeps on bringing you back to the WEAR conference year after year?
I mean for me the reason why I am attending is because I think it’s one of, if not the, highest quality of attendees. It’s not the biggest conference out there but when I’ve gone and ive been going for 3 years (this is time 4) every time I’ve gone I’ve had such high quality conversations in the hallway, and made incredible connections, along with one of a kind bump ins with some of the top names in the fashion, tech and design industry.
Why have you decided to support this event in 2018, taking on an advisory board role?
Being a part of the advisory board is a great opportunity and I was excited to do it. I believe in the community being built, you get such diversity. This conference provides a pretty good bang for your buck on the types of conversation you’re able to have with fellow attendees.
Finally, what are you most looking forward to hearing at WEAR 2018?
There are so many good ones (presentations), it’s so hard to pick.
Learn more about the WEAR 2018 Program here