Nov 20, 2008


A-Nerve pleating sleeve, Bluetooth accessory for mobile phones, by CuteCircuit

I want my clothes to take care of themselves and me, and make life even more fun. Here are a few things on my wishlist* for future clothes (all sustainably/ecologically produced and used, of course...)

*Most, if not all, of these concepts are already in research or prototyping. Click the links and dream.
  • Mend themselves if torn or worn (i.e. self heal, like skin)

  • Repel dirt and stains, and totally Self-clean

  • Administer vitamins or medicines (insulin, say) transdermally

  • Or expose our bodies to light to counteract SADD

  • Regulate vital functions

  • Destroy germs and bacteria in our surroundings

  • Massage sore muscles

  • Stimulate muscle exercise and toning

  • Destroy cellulite

  • Moisturize or exfoliate our skin

  • Protect us from bullets or knives

  • Sample toxins in the environment and alert us

  • Store solar or kinetic energy for running PEDs

  • Provide light in the dark

  • Administer aromatherapy

  • Hug us

  • Deliver messages or images on integrated flexible screens

  • Talk to other people's clothes

  • Mimic our surroundings for camouflage (protection)

  • Or make us stand out from our surroundings (mating colors)

  • Change their surface “print” pattern, colors, and texture

  • Be usefully convertible (a puffy ski jacket that is also a carry-on suitcase... with wheels)

  • Change from breathable to waterproof, and back, as needed

  • Regulate our comfort and temperature (warm us, cool us)

  • Be fireproof, heat protective

  • Provide our GPS position to ourselves or others

  • Be wearable/washable “laptops," "iPods," "phones"

  • Iron themselves, or animate, via shape-memory or other technology

  • Be made of lab-grown, cruelty-free leather, fur, feathers
  • Be "nano-built" to have the actual color and iridescent properties of, say, beetles, butterflies, diatoms, and bird's feathers

  • Grow new pieces, parts or textural layers over time

  • Have pockets only where and when needed

  • Be grown or 3D printed to our exact dimensions, without sewing or seams
And when "smart textiles" are ubiquitous and economical, will there be a counter-market for passive, privacy respecting, "dumb textiles"? And a nostalgia for old-fashioned details like real sewn seams, and socks that rip or fray before we've finished with them? I wonder.

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