Where does our interest in emerging technologies come from and why does it matter for waterproofs? We are not strangers to the concept after all. Mike’s expertise and awareness of new technologies, often from outside the outdoor industry be traced back over 40 years. As a manufacturer, one of his distinguishing features as an innovator was an ability to see how technology used in one sector might work in outdoor products. We encouraged students on our innovation courses to develop an awareness of new technologies and analyse how they might, with the emphasis on the might, affect other sectors. It kept us hooked, and some of them too, over the 10 years we taught our courses.
Keeping Dry and Staying Warm, our ebook includes summaries of extensive analysis of waterproof garments and we aim to raise the level of understanding of garments with an independent voice. This led Outdoor Review to ask us what would be the next wonder waterproof fabric. Of course we would not be drawn and instead reviewed a number of emerging technologies which may influence outdoor garments in the future. We comment about user know-how being important, rather than expecting the product to do everything. The ‘battle of understanding ‘,as we call it, is that what layers are used is as important as the actual ‘Brand super X’ outer layer. We cover moisture management and fibres, computer controlled knitting machines and seamless garments and smart textiles which measure body function. All these technologies have the potential to affect the next generation of mountain garments , but which will take off and which stall cannot be predicted. The full article is available in the Autumn 2016 issue of Outdoor Review.