I absolutely LOVE this little video clip of what fashion designers thought we were going to be wearing in the year 2000.
The most gadgety outfit is the one for the male. Here is what he is wearing:
As for him, if he matters at all, there won’t be any shaving, colors, ties or pockets. He’ll be fitted with a telephone, radio and containers for coins, keys and candy for cuties.
They actually got this one right. Ties are a rarity, except in the business world. Every guy now has a cell phone in his pocket, along with an iPod. The belt pack for money, keys and candy hasn’t really caught on yet because fashion designers are still giving men pockets to put them in.
I love to see how different our vision of the future is to what it eventually becomes.
Today I ran across this really cool jacket from a company called Zegna. The Solor JKT has collar mounted solar panels capable of charging and providing power to many small electronic devices.
I’ve seen clothing like this in the past, most notably is the ScottEVest which came out sometime in early 2001, and has morphed into several different styles. The difference between the two is the Solar JKT uses the sun to power and charge your devices. The Scott Vest doesn’t provide any charging capabilities.
The jacket isn’t really designed to be worn year round. If you live in a warm climate the thought of wearing a jacket all the time is just not feasible. Not too mention the collar is bulky and looks uncomfortable.
However, a really cool feature of the jacket is the ability to remove the solar panel from the collar and use it separately to power devices. The ability to use the solar panels without the jacket makes this “gadget” something to look at.
Some of the features:
Cell phones, mp3 and other devices powered at 5 or 6 volts
Withstands limited exposure to water – advises not to clean by submersion
Solar cells should be used “perpendicular” to the sun
Detachable collar from jacket
Recommended device power be at least 50% or greater
Takes up 4 hours to fully recharge a device
Has USB adapter
Adapters for most cell phone charging ports
Adapter for charging iPods
There are plenty of alternatives to an electric article of clothing. The price is high enough to exclude the average Joe. The wow factor is high because it support a large number of devices.
I’m pretty sure the Zenga won’t bank it’s future on the sales of the Solar JKT.
These shoes would be perfect for running outside at night. There’s no way you would be the invisible pedestrian with these shoes. They are sold as fashion shoes to wear at raves and are currently out of stock, unfortunately.
The shoes are “powered” by glow sticks. You open the channel at the back of the shoe, insert the glow stick (after activating it) and close it back up. Glow sticks are easy to buy in bulk and you only need to “turn your shoes on” when you are running at night. Brilliant!
This would be good if you’re riding your bike as well:
When will the running shoe companies realize that THIS is the number one safety feature we need when running outside? Reflective surfaces are nice, but glowing on our own gives the drivers MUCH more time to notice us.
Mike A. has this great Nike+ Hack with his Adidas shoes:
“Having just bought the Nike+ Sport Kit and 4GB Silver Nano, I didn’t really want to drop another $100 or so on new shoes. Thus, I got out a Swiss Army knife and did some reconstructive surgery on my old Adidas running shoes.”
I thought of doing this with my Ryka shoes, but after a year of owning the Nike+, I finally acquiesced and bought a pair of Nike Zoom. I have to admit that the Nike+ reads a tad more accurately INSIDE the shoe than outside with a Shoe Wallet.
At the Eleksen booth at CES, I was able to see the Oâ€™Neill jacket firsthand, in addition to a lot of other products that Eleksen is a part of. Eleksen manufactures touch sensitive fabric. Back in September, I wondered if the jackets were machine washable. They are. In addition to that, you can crumple the fabric, dry it in the dryer and type on it for hours.
When I tested the products, I expected there to be little buttons under the arrows that felt like a good click when you pressed them. Instead, they are as smooth as any fabric with no indication that youâ€™ve pressed the button except the music stopped playing. It was amazing.
Eleksen has used their fabric in ski jackets, dress jackets, backpacks, and a great laptop sized keyboard that works with your PDA or Pocket PC. The keyboard rolls up to a tiny size and weighs almost nothing. They were having a little trouble getting it to communicate with the Pocket PC at the booth. They didnâ€™t demonstrate it with a Palm-OS unit, but they said it works with Palm. I felt uneasy typing on it because Iâ€™m used to a familiar â€œclickâ€ when Iâ€™ve finished pressing a button. This keyboard had no tactile response and I had to watch the screen to see if the letter I had pressed showed up. I also couldnâ€™t feel if my fingers were placed properly on the keyboard and I suspect that over long term use, they would tend to drift.
All the products they displayed at the Eleksen booth were interesting and I really enjoyed playing with them all. I was amazed that fabric could be touch sensitive and I feel like this is one of the most innovative products I saw at CES.
The beauty of this music sharing comes from the speakers in the shoulder straps. You can see them clearly in this picture. You can also control the music from the controls on the shoulder straps. I wasnâ€™t able to actually try these out to see if you would get good sound from them, but audiophiles arenâ€™t the sort to wear a singing backpack. These speakers arenâ€™t for refined sound. Theyâ€™re for fun times and sharinâ€™ your tunes.
If I was fifteen years old again, I would be begging my mom for this backpack for Christmas. I can hear her response now, â€œWhy is this backpack any better than the one you already have?â€ I donâ€™t have the heart to tell her itâ€™s because I want to annoy the world with my music.
â€œEven in these days of Business Casual, there are times â€“ like dealing with the Suits at the bank or introducing yourself to a new client â€“ when a sports jacket adds a touch of professionalism. Thus, we developed the Duluth Presentation Jacket, designed to go with jeans or khakis and requiring no special care.â€
Of course, I wouldnâ€™t be looking at this menâ€™s jacket if it hadnâ€™t been recommended by a gadget freak. What he had to say was far more interesting:
â€œIn the last month, I have worn it everywhere from going to the movies to staying two days in a swanky hotel in Morocco for business meetings, hiked part way up an 11,000 ft mountain, and slept on a long flight. As this implies, it is a dreamy travelerâ€™s jacket â€” never looks wrinkled (it is treated to resist wrinkles and stains), is tremendously comfortable, and has 13 pockets including zip-up pockets inside the outer patch pockets. Enough space to fit a moleskine in an outer pocket, a cell phone inside, a wallet safely zipped-in, some pens â€” and suddenly I donâ€™t have to carry a backpack when I am going out for a quick meeting.â€
Thatâ€™s the sort of recommendation I can love. Iâ€™m tempted to buy one for myself, except that I promised myself to stop cross-dressing. If youâ€™re a guy in need of a jacket that can take you from the mountain to the board room, the Duluth Twill Presentation Jacket just might do the trick.
Just like the Oâ€™Neill backpack. the controls for the iPod are on the shoulder of the pack. This allows you to keep the iPod in the backpack and turn it off, on and change songs using the shoulder controls. It was an ingenius idea when Oâ€™Neill released their backpacks, but their prices were astronomical. At $60, the Jansport backpacks are actually affordable.
The fact that you can easily order these backpacks from Amazon.com gives Jansport a huge leg up on the Oâ€™Neill backpacks. When I tried to order them when they came out, I couldnâ€™t get through their complicated website. Jansport has made it easy and affordable.
For 130 bucks, this vest has a rechargeable pack that provides four hours of heat. It takes five hours to charge and it comes in â€œUnisexâ€ sizes, which really means they only make a menâ€™s size. The smallest size they carry is Medium, which is shirt sizes 38-41, which would drown me. This vest wonâ€™t work for me, but if you are out there feeling cold all the time, this one might be a blessing for you.
Unfortunately, no photographs of the product are available at this time, so we canâ€™t get a glimpse of what the jeans look like. Here are the features:
Docking cradle in pocket
Looser design to eliminate the â€œiPod Bulgeâ€
Easy removal to see the screen
Controls on the hip area featuring a â€œjoystickâ€
Handy wire retractor to prevent tangled earbuds.
After seeing what Eleksen can do with touch sensitive fabric, I completely believe that Levi Strauss has these jeans in the works. Now all the jeans need are some solar panels on the butt to power your iPod and theyâ€™d be the perfect jeans.