Wearable tech is the future, the pundits say, with chips, bits and bytes residing in every part of your wardrobe. What will shopping for clothes be like? We put our tongues firmly in my our cheeks and took a peek into the wearable tech showroom of the future. Any similarity to existing technology and brands is…ahem…purely coincidental!

wearable-tech-shirt

“Ah, sir, good morning and welcome to Techstiles, the place for clothes with bytes, the best place for wearable technology in the Northern hemisphere. We blend technology and clothes so well together that you won’t know which is which. We have cotton with chips, ties with sensors, bootlaces with motherboards, cuff links with cameras, and innerwear with hardware, and much much more. How can I help you?”

“Well, I was sort of browsing…”

“An excellent notion, sir. It is always good to take a good look around before you part with your cash. May I ask if you have something specific in mind?”

“Er…something that is not too, you know, obtrusive. You know, not in your face…”

“The subtle touch? Good taste indeed, sir. Step this way for the Throateeee..”

“The Throateee? What’s that? Some kind of noose?”

“Good lord, no, sir. It is the Throat-e, a necktie. It has small icons on it that glow every time someone likes a post you made on a social network. With six indicator light colors for different networks, and as many icons, with the option to purchase more (just tug the tie twice gently to indicate you want to make a purchase). Pairs over GreenTooth with your handset, tablet, smart time piece, and even corset (provided they have GreyTooth 3.5, GreenTooth or D-Ental support). A gentle reminder to everyone about how popular you are…”

“But what if no one likes any of my posts?”

“Plain old necktie then, sir. Told you it was subtle.”

“Errr..yes, but what about something a bit more, you know, noticeable.”

“The IMM cuff links, then?”

“What?”

“Cuff links that serve up notifications from your tablet, capsule or even your pill, showing the icon of the service that has sent the notification. Gentle glow on your wrist. Hippo battery, and 17.6 cultra pixel camera…”

“No, no, something more…garment-ish.”

“Try the Leg Ups, then, sir. Gentlemen’s socks that allow you to type with your feet. They come with an inbuilt projector that displays alphabets that only you can see (courtesy the Soxy Spectacles accessory that are bundled with them) and which respond to every tap of your foot, letting you type out responses to mails and texts by just tapping your feet. They even come with tap dancing typing tutorials…”

“But they might not be compatible with my SATA-enabled shoes…”

“Fear not, sir. They support SATA,SPARTA, DATA and even the new BATA connectivity. Pair them with a pair of SPARTA shoes and you will hear a loud “This is Spartaaa” scream (in the voices of fourteen different actors and one Talking Thomas The Threadweaving Thimble) whenever you kick someone, with volume that varies directly with the force put behind the kick. These socks don’t suck. Should I pack in a pair?”

“Hang on, no,no. What about a pair of corduroy trousers? Like those ones?”

“Interesting choice, if a trifle high-end. The Gandy Geeks: Three cabled corduroys with macro USGee ports in two pockets, a micro GaGa port in the back pocket, and a zip that can charge a device every time you pull it up! Also with special HicHockHaeck connectivity that guide your feet in the right direction when you put your tablet in navigation mode…”

“Now we are talking, but how does one clean them?”

“Just wipe them clean using the GetRiddOfIt solution, sir. One gallon free with each trouser.”

“And colors..”

“These are smart trousers, sir. Pantroid OS, for bottoms. Can be programmed to change shades depending on the time of the day, your mood, or the season. Or you can leave them on in auto mode where they switch shades by themselves. We call it the smarta** mode!”

“Excellent. Now, show me a shirt!”

“Turn around, sir. There you are. The Bark Royal range of shirts. Soft collar with a projector that projects videos in front of your eyes, button cameras that let you take pictures from different angles -just unbutton to click – and sleeves with BAMBOLED panels, one which can serve as a display and another as a keyboard. Best of all, you don’t need to pair it with any device. It comes with GRIM AS SIN SIM slots in the shirt tails! Again it has a smart shade mode, and can bled in with your trousers and socks, provided they are all made of Open Source Poptic Fibre cable, and support the TAB (tops and bottoms) protocol.”

“Perfect. Can I get them delivered to them over mail?”

“Of course you can, sir. They come with STD.”

“What!! As in the infection?”

“Good lord, no, sir. You need apps for those. And they come in adult only zones, anyway. STD here is Software Textile Design – which allows clothes to be sent as software. With a 99 per cent success rate and a return policy to cover that one per cent when things go wrong – there was that one time when a shoelace’s code got mixed up with gent’s knee length undergarments. Nothing to worry about. Just step into our bank balance scanner and the amount due will be deducted from your balance, and will be moved to our account only after you have downloaded the garments and found them to your satisfaction. Thank you, sir. Just step that way. And yes, sir, how may I help you?”

“Do you have any handkerchiefs?”

“That depends on your needs. We support seven protocols, six OSes and four smart fibre systems…”

“I want one that matches my tie!”

“Oh sure, sir. Which connectivity option?”

“No, just matches the color!”

“We can manage that too. Just tell us the OS of the tie, and…”

“Look, I just want a simple cloth handkerchief!”

“Mister, what do think this is? 2014? This is the era of smart clothes. You don’t wear clothes, you get connected to them, you get networked to them, you communicate with them, you locate with them…oh forget it. Guard, point this man to some place where you get clothes made of fibres rather than wires, will you?”

 

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Editorial Mentor

Nimish Dubey has been writing for more than a decade now (well, Windows 3.1 was around and Apple was on the verge of being finished when he started). He has been published in a number of publications including The Times of India, Mint, The Economic Times, Mid-Day and Femina on subjects that vary from tech write -ups to book reviews to music album round ups. He managed to interview Michael Schumacher once and write two books for young adults along the way.