Forget Wearables. In The Future, Your Clothes Will Connect To The Internet

by MR Magazine Staff

Imagine you’ve just purchased a new jacket from your favorite brand. You put it on for the first time, and scan a tag embedded in the sleeve with your phone. A menu of options pops up. You can find information about the jacket’s design, how the brand selected only sustainable materials, and details on the exact factory where the product was made. You plug in your earphones and listen to a playlist the brand put together. Later in the week, you head to a party that the label is throwing to celebrate its latest collection, and the bouncer scans your RFID, (like the radio-frequency identification tags in key fobs or prepaid toll devices), which functions as your ticket. Somebody spills a drink on your new jacket—of course—so the next day, you throw it in the wash. It automatically communicates with your washing machine to select the right laundry setting.This is the futuristic vision laid out by Avery Dennison, which manufactures the care labels in much of your clothing, but also develops retail and information solutions for brands. Internet-connected clothes with these capabilities are not far off, says Rana Sidahmed, the company’s global creative director. “I think the future is here,” she says. But, she adds, “it’s kind of loosely dispersed, like William Gibson said.” (Sidahmed was referring to the quote widely attributed to the influential sci-fi author: “The future is already here—it’s just not very evenly distributed.”) Read more at Quartz.