It seems just yesterday that grandma was bowled over at the prospect of no longer having to fumble with shoe buckles or buttons: Velcro had made its much-publicized appearance. Today she simply shakes her head in bewildered and slightly fearful amazement as clothing does all but speak to us. Well, that’s not exactly true. Some articles may not speak any specific language, but they certainly communicate quite clearly and universally. Take the beeping wallet for example. Using just a microchip and small battery it lets its owner know when a credit or any other card has been removed but not replaced within a specific time frame. Taking this a step further the wallet actually facilitates fingerprint scanning as a means of ensuring that only the authorized have access to its contents. Thanks to technology, quite a number of clothing articles have now been given a ‘voice’, particularly in the sporting field.
Data Transmitting Clothing
Instead of the cumbersome sensors previously employed to monitor the body’s physiological data and rate its performance, sports stars or the health conscious are now able to slip on a vest or T-shirt which does all that in a far more attractive and convenient manner. No wires to get tangled up in or chest straps that loosen or drop off and declare you temporarily deceased. These impressive sounding items have been designed to look good while transmitting data regarding the well-being or otherwise of every major organ of the body and then some, including the condition of the skin and the oxygen levels in the blood. This is done via tiny electrodes which have been incorporated seamlessly into the fabric. The Smart Shirt is in fact a very smart T-shirt and there is also a sports bra for women and a cardio shirt for men available.
Some vests designed with a multitude of storage areas are so highly functional that they have been used by the secret service. If carrying every one of your possessions around is not required on a particular day, the sleeves can simply be removed to lighten the load. If you are one who prefers travelling light with only your phone as companion, then one manufacturer has designed a shirt that incorporates a smartphone pocket via which a user can operate their phone without actually removing it from the pocket. Not impressed yet. Then how about a shirt that not only eliminates body odor, but promotes healing of the skin by blocking bacteria? This same shirt may someday replace that heavy apron that dentists drop onto the chests of sometimes frail patients when X-rays are required. Its composition forms a protective barrier between the wearer and electromagnetic radiation.
My Nanna has indignantly demanded to know from me what protective clothing was in the process of being designed that would save us from these obviously insane scientists. She somberly warns of the day that our clothing will either eat us alive or at the very least slap us for any lapse in good coordinating sense.
This satirical look into the changes in clothing technology was written in association with Crew Clothing, British clothing retailer offering men’s and women’s casual clothing.