The twenty-first century is the era when smart has become the perfect synonymous of high-tech as functionality starts to be just as appreciated as design. Today's clothing has to reflect people's rapidly changing lifestyles, encouraging the incorporation of high-tech elements into our day to day life. The new urban styles range from sweaters regulating body temperature to jeans fitted with an iPod docking station or distance and speed tracking running shoes. Functional fashion tends to also include radiation-repellent materials to protect our bodies from dangerous UV rays and radiation and clothes to accommodate gadgets that wearers are increasingly addicted to, like cameras and iPods.
Tech-jackets represent an important element of the new-age functional fashion as wearable technology is gradually becoming an essential trend. The ultimate outdoorsy accessories, this type of jackets are slowly turning into a must have for all skiers, hikers or runners who are keen to carry technology in their pockets wherever their paths take them.
Here are some of the world's most high-tech jackets ever designed:
A very helpful item for mountain rescuers, the glow-in-the-dark jacket is equipped with electroluminescent light panels running on a rechargeable battery and strategically placed along the arms, shoulders and hood. The panels quickly light up by turning a switch, which renders the wearer visible from a distance of nearly a mile. The gadget is also very useful when reading maps in the dark.
With built-in heaters using a rechargeable battery, this kind of jackets manage to keep you warm and cosy for up to five hours at medium temperature. Some styles can be powered through the USB port of your laptop, which makes them even more technology-savvy and easy to wear in the wild, provided that you actually choose to carry your portable computer everywhere.
Communication is even more important out in the wild than at home in front of the computer and this type of jacket does a great job for being fitted out with built-in speakers around the collar and a microphone facilitating hands-free radio communication.
If you love music, you can carry it all around with you thanks to these jackets with an iPod control system built into the sleeve. Simple to operate and comfortable to wear, the jacket is a must have for those addicted to great tunes who refuse to skip any beat.
The most surprising of the high-tech jackets designed so far is this accessory created for the polite smokers who don't like to spread their smoke around and fumigate all the people close to them. The jacked is equipped with a set of fake lungs in which the wearer blows the smoke through the collar. It was also created with the health of the smoker in mind, as the fake lungs turn gradually dark over time, mirroring the actual organs of its wearer.
With so many options to choose and such a vast range of benefits, it is in no way surprising that high-tech jackets are becoming a favourite item in most people's wardrobe, especially of those who love spending their time outdoors and hate to give up on their indoor comfort. Although only a few years ago these jackets would have seemed part of a science-fiction movie apparel, they are slowly turning into everyday clothes and people are more and more happy to buy and wear them.