If you haven’t heard yet, the FASHIONTech™ Africa conference is an event like no other, and is coming to the African continent for the first time. FashionTech Africa is essentially a part of the Threads Stitched by Standard Bank program, however, it is a platform that takes into consideration the opportunity for technology to advance the African fashion industry. Global brands, start-ups and industry professionals will have the chance to engage and in turn, formulate connections that could fuel the growth of the African fashion industry.
In conjunction with this conference is the Hackathon. This is a 24-hour event, running from 16th of April to 17th of April, and will follow four groups, each made up of 3 Threads entrepreneurs, 1 programmer, 1 UX/Visual Design, and 1 industry expert. Each group will be allocated one unique technology to use, from either augmented reality, 3D printing, virtual reality, and internet of things, to create a product applicable to the business world, that solves one of Fashion’s Biggest Problems.
Four tech start-ups will provide each of the unique technologies that will be used at the Hackathon. Below are 10 questions that each start-up answered, to give a better idea concerning what they are all about!
1. What is your technology – explain it to us like we’re a 5 year-old and how fast is the market of your business growing?
The Technology we are using is augmented reality. It involves being able to make things come to life – for instance having your toys use movement, by controlling it with a mobile device. You can have your toy moving or jumping around! The market is actually growing fast and its interesting technology as well.
2. What do you enjoy most about being involved in such an innovative industry?
I enjoy the whole aspect of something that is new and being involved in transforming the way people interact with content, making things move and bringing them to life.
3. How do you keep up to date with new skills or changes within your industry?
I read a lot and I use the internet to go to specific sites, and applications for research and reading. I also like social media that provides information on tech. Teaching also helps me learn more so that I can share my knowledge with others.
4. What are your goals for the tech start-up?
The business’s goal is to develop devices that help solve the problems that are found in a city.
“Merging technology with fashion is about improving customer experiences” – Kimard Studio on #ThreadsbySB
5. What do you think about the merging of fashion and technology?
I think it’s very interesting because I’ve been looking around and 2 years ago Levis and Google had a partnership where they created a technology for jackets, with fibres and wires incorporated in them, so that when you are cycling you can gently move your hand towards the sleeves to answer your cell phone. I think it’s good that in Africa we are already trying to be involved in these things. Nike also has the latest running shoes, which has the technology to track your running. Another running shoe has the ability for its lace to tie itself, so you do not have to tie it. It’s going beyond being fashion, it’s now about improving experiences and that is what I like about merging technology with fashion.
6. How can your technology contribute to the fashion industry?
Our technology can really help in providing a better tool to have customers experience each and every single item both in and out of the shops. It can also allow them to see products they’re interested in on their mobile phones in 3D, which gives them a real-life experience of seeing products.
7. Have you been involved in a Hackathon before?
Yes I have, and I have had a blessing to win a few of them. One that I really enjoyed was from Ethiopia where we had to build something that had to do with changing people’s attitudes towards culture and life in general.
8. Why did you decide to take part in this Hackathon?
I felt that it would be a good challenge and it would be great for me to be part of the first people who are trying to have the technology emerged in fashion.
9. What are your expectations of the Hackathon?
To network and to show brands that there are possibilities for them to use our expertise to enhance experiences in their shop.
10. What is one word you’d use to describe your business?