Get Your 'Thinking Cap' On: This Connected Hat Provides Access To Localized Content Experiences | Avery Dennison

Get Your 'Thinking Cap' On: This Connected Hat Provides Access To Localized Content Experiences

By Rachel Arthur
Posted on January 23, 2017

Hot on the heels of its connected jacket that unlocked access to exclusive local experiences, New York menswear brand Rochambeau has introduced a "Thinking Cap" to make wearers smarter wherever they go.

Unveiled as part of its collection for the International Woolmark Prize Final in Paris today, the concept piece is once again a collaboration between the designers, Internet of Things platform EVRYTHNG, apparel branding solutions Avery Dennison’s Retail Branding and Information Solutions (RBIS) division and hybrid retail/media company The New Stand.

It also follows the announcement in 2016 of EVRYTHNG and RBIS’s #BornDigital concept, which aims to digitize 10 billion items of clothing and accessories over the next three years, as well as ties to the much wider trend for the Internet of Things and connected consumer products.

Rochambeau's Thinking Cap (Image: Rochambeau)

The hat incorporates NFC and QR code labels hidden inside that pull-up content on a mobile web page when scanned. What’s surfaced depends on factors like time of day, as well as location – all of it has been designed for major cultural centers and destination cities including New York, Paris, London and Tokyo.

Today, 78% of millennials say they would rather spend money on experiences than they would materials items, according to Eventbrite, which is seemingly part of the thinking behind this concept. As Lex Kendall, COO and co-founder at The New Stand, explains, this is a new generation of people who not only value experiences but desire to uncover and explore things off the beaten track. “The Thinking Cap helps to combine the physical and digital worlds like never before,” he said.

Through the unique digital identity the product has in the cloud, that means access to content including audio-led walking tours narrated by locals, playlists featuring resident artists, podcasts diving into the culture and history of the city they’re in – as well as the poets, singers, storytellers and comedians in their environment – and contextual news updates for both current day and that day in history. All has been produced in collaboration with content partners.

Rochambeau's Thinking Cap (Image: Rochambeau)

Laurence Chandler, founder of Rochambeau, commented: “We’ve always taken inspiration from the environment around us and a city’s creative spirit. With The Thinking Cap we wanted to continue our collaboration with EVRYTHNG, Avery Dennison, and The New Stand, and our collective commitment to #BornDigital™ smart products, to create something truly unique – a hat that gathers the creative DNA of a place, be it Paris, New York, or wherever the wearer finds themselves, to deliver a stimulating experience for the mind.”

Andy Hobsbawm, CMO and co-founder at EVRYTHNG, added: “Consumers have an overload of apps on their devices, hence we’re seeing the rise of new interfaces like wearables and voice.” In this instance, the idea is for a product that comes with its own contextual content attached, without having to go and search for it yourself.

“A smarter product creates more interesting, more interactive, more characterful and more useful experiences on demand, curated just for us, without having to do all the work assembling them,” Hobsbawm explained.

Is it a little gratuitous? Maybe. But the very idea of owning a "Thinking Cap" sounds pretty appealing all the same.