Human-Machine Teaming for All
DFI has won the nation-wide competition to fight Covid-19 through business-led innovation, organised by Innovate UK, the UK's innovation agency. The grant recognises the potential of our biometric intelligent clothing to enhance Care Homes, assisted living, and personal health - during this crisis and beyond.
At the core of our tech stands our patent-pending light-weight exoskeleton technology that allows any piece of clothing to adapt to any body-shape or style, at any time. This futuristic and revolutionary tech allows user-controlled tailoring to happen at the push of a button, with the clothing automatically contracting around you, or done manually for added accuracy and style preferences.
Fit is the primary problem in a $1.5 trillion industry, underlying customer dissatisfaction, cripplingly high returns, short product life, low e-retail sales and collapsing revenue models. It is also a hidden prerequisite to intelligent clothing: fit is vital to ensure accuracy and effectiveness of embedded sensors and AI controls. This is why embedded tech in clothing has previously been largely limited to form-fitting athleticwear.
Our exoskeleton tech furthermore allows you to swiftly and instantly buy clothing, without any hassle, that is simply guaranteed to fit. No need to spend hours wandering multiple stores and trying on garments just to find something that fits. In fully eliminating the need to try on clothing, we have conquered the final frontier of internet retail: most still do not want to buy clothing online because of worries regarding sizing and the lack of consistency in sizes across stores. We've changed all that.
Our Exoshirt Mark I and intelligent uniforms complete the natural evolution of wearables. Embedded into our intelligent clothing are AI controls activated by voice, gesture and touch, creating a brand-new platform and transforming the human body itself into the next-gen user interface.
While currently screens still separate humans from the digital world, we aim to remove that barrier, making it so that there is no need to actually handle a device: as long as there is a wifi-enabled processor in your general vicinity, you can control any hardware intuitively with your body: you are the UI. We integrate the human itself into the Internet of Things.
From individuals getting directions from a virtual assistant, placing and receiving phone calls, listening to music, sending messages, or controlling other devices, all intuitively through their clothing, without touching a device, to corporate, military and government personnel controlling robotics, drones, devices, hardware and machines through their intelligent uniform.
Initially designed in the context of Defence to track personnel health, and then employed during the Covid-19 crisis following a grant from the UK government , our clothing offers a revolutionary single platform for embedded multimodal biometrics, allowing consistent monitoring of vitals and health simply through your clothing.
This without any of the typical wires and sensor pads stuck all over the body, but with the immeasurable benefits of constant health-monitoring (studies by the National Health Service in the UK indicate that such monitoring of vitals has a dramatic impact on level of care for individuals, as well as significantly reducing costs for Care Homes, hospitals and other institutions).
Though it is widely acknowledged as a win-win scenario for both the patient and the health-care provider, monitoring of vitals simply does not currently take place in any consistent way either among individuals or in Care institutions. This is primarily because, up to now, most devices only tracked one or two metrics, leading to scaling costs, while consistent manual tracking is simply beyond the capacity of already overworked staff and individuals. We offer the first single-cost, integrated system that gathers all data and stakeholders in a single platform, and furthermore can analyse the data remotely.
Health data can be either viewed on an isolated device for analysis, or sent to the cloud and analysed by our machine-learning algorithms in a continuous fashion, which can detect and prevent serious health issues before the wearer is even aware of these. It's time to move the world from curative to predictive and preventative healthcare.
Taking away the need to tailor clothing, we dramatically cut costs for all those businesses and individuals that currently need to tailor clothing or uniforms. This ranges from hundreds of thousands of individuals in the armed services, to hundreds of thousands of individuals in businesses, to the individual consumer.
You may have read when you entered our website that the emissions of the textile industry are higher than those of all international flights and maritime shipping combined; if nothing changes, the clothing industry’s effect on the climate is predicted to be catastrophic. This is largely due to the wastefulness of Fast Fashion – $460 billion of value is destroyed each year just in clothing that is discarded. Customers throw away clothing primarily for reasons of style and fit. When ordering online, many order multiple sizes and then return those that don’t fit – itself a result of the inconsistency in sizing across stores.
Our company explicitly sets out to combat Fast Fashion, offering an effective and tech-forward alternative. Our products help combat emissions resulting from online return rates often as high as 50% in the clothing industry. By allowing clothing to change style and fit at will, we furthermore drastically increase product life – taking away the two most common reasons for discarding clothing. While Fast Fashion products are generally disposed of in under twelve months, tech products have a much longer product life. By infusing our shirts with tech, we build the future in more than one way. We also aim to manufacture responsibly, with the option for users to enter the product number of their shirt and see the exact journey of the product, the people, places and companies involved, all to measure each shirt’s net impact.
We believe the push for sustainability can and should be market-led: we show that companies can have a clear incentive to disrupt and innovate wasteful industries - wastefulness which in the long term also translates into decreased profitability for businesses - as part of their core mission to deliver value and create prosperity within a free and fair market.
We offer businesses and government the chance to innovate, increase sustainability, cut costs, and finally render employees much more effective at their job, by giving them digital superpowers.
Currently, the modern warfighter controls robotics, comms and other technology in the field by looking down at a smartphone - often stuck to their stomach and controlled by a 2000s-type stylus – tapping away at extremely small icons while looking down. This is far from an ideal situation in an active environment. Our smart uniforms bypass all that and integrate the tech into the uniform itself – through voice, gesture and tactile commands the warfighter is able to control drones, robotics and other UxS as intuitively as interacting with a teammate. This drastically reduces the training and effort needed from the warfighter’s perspective. By embedding tech into clothing, we also dramatically increase the efficiency and type of data that can be sent to central command: from decisions based on the warfighter’s vitals – heartbeat, body-heat – to easy real-time tracking of location and physical movements as well as gestures.
For businesses, we offer the integration of the human into the Internet of Things, allowing a single person to control simple and complex devices, machinery, drones and robotics intuitively and on-the-go, without having to physically interact with any of these, remaining constantly in contact and reachable through embedded comms. By untethering an employee from having to physically interact with screens, they are often able to undertake a task twice as fast, both through the intuitive nature of voice, gesture and clothing-based touch commands, and by not having to cross physical space to interact with multiple devices. Our platform, UI integrated into clothing, is system-agnostic, allowing it to work intuitively and easily with existing communication and business software; it furthermore has the distinct advantage of allowing a complete overhaul of communication systems without having to introduce any new hardware, infrastructure or software, simply sitting on top of existing systems, making them more efficient.
Roughly one in two of the world’s working population wears a uniform, yet very few of these uniforms actively and directly assist the wearer in the job they are doing. We intend to change that.
In the Press
As a Techstars Company.
DFI is beyond delighted to announce that we're a Techstars company! Selected from well over a 1000 companies globally to join the London 2020 cohort, we're set to benefit from $120k in funding, $1m in perks, and - most importantly - the amazing Techstars mentor and alumni network.
Read Techstars official announcement here.
Watch yesterday's press conference here.
Read Business Weekly article here.
As Innovate UK Grant Winner.
For Business Weekly, click here.
For St. John's Innovation Centre press release, click here.
For Cambridge-Norwich Tech Corridor, click here.
As seen on The Financial Times' sifted.
As seen on Incubyte.
For the Incubyte blog-post on the Rise of FashionTech and our company, click here.
As seen on the front page of Business Weekly.
As seen on the BBC.
Watch part of our earliest and first-ever pitch, selected by the Cambridge Angels to be filmed and broadcast on BBC One. The BBC made the editorial decision to focus on our body-adaptive or adjustable aspect.