UPDATE: For a closer and more recent look at Columbia's new Omni-Heat collection, click here.
For the past two years, Columbia has been shifting their focus away from selling sportswear through department stores and over to driving innovation in the outdoor industry. Seven months ago, Columbia was looking to hire an Innovation Manager to help bring new technologies to market. Their new found focus has obviously worked as Mick McCormick, VP of Global Sales and Marketing, said Columbia has been "cranking up innovation. We've had more patents in seven months than in the past seven years."
This week, Columbia will release their Fall 2010 Omni-Heat family of thermal technologies that are designed to both trap and generate heat. For this new line of thermal technologies, Columbia took a cue from NASA and their space blanket invention. Used in bivy sacks and worn by marathoners after a race, the metallic reflective fabric is great at reducing convection and heat loss.
Columbia will inject two new thermal technologies, Omni-Heat Thermal Insulated and Omni-Heat Thermal Reflective, into a new line of apparel, accessories and equipment. Building on the success of the Bugathermo
and Snow Hottie
boots, Columbia will also include more styles in an Omni-Heat Thermal Electric footwear line.
Check out Gearactive's video below of Product Manager Todd Lewis talking about two more of Columbia's recent innovations- Techlite and Omni-Grip.
(via Footwear News)