Beware: No article of clothing or accessory is free from invasion by technology.
Over the past few weeks we have seen a purse with a battery to charge your phone, and a prototype of a vest that can give you a "hug" every time someone "likes" something of yours on Facebook. Now we may have the most unexpected one of all.
Socks with RFID chips. Socks with RFID chips that come with a small remote control and have an app to help you match the socks after they've been washed. Yes, socks that talk to your phone.
"It can match left and right together, measure the amount of times they have been washed, and it also tells you the color density," Lori Rosen, Managing Partner at BlackSocks, told ABC News.
Blacksocks is an e-tailer that sells, well, black socks. The company started in 1999 with a mission to make it easier for men to shop for socks. Now, in 2012, the company has taken it a step further, making it easier for men to sort their socks. It began offering its Smarter Socks earlier this month for $189.00. For that you get 10 pairs of socks with the embedded chips and the Sock Sorter remote.
How does it all work? You pair the Sock Sorter remote with your iPhone via Bluetooth. You then download the BlackSocks app from the App Store. When you are ready to sort your big pile of clean socks (yes, the chip-equipped socks can still make it through the washer and dryer), you hold the sorter near the button on each sock and it will register the sock in the app. When it finds the match it will tell you in the app.
The app will also let you dig in and see details about each sock, including when it was produced, when it shipped, how many times it was washed, and if it is a right or a left sock. There's also a "Blackometer" in the app, which doesn't require you to have the fancy teched-out socks; you just hold your phone's camera over a sock and it will tell you how discolored it is (red means replace, yellow means caution, green means continue wearing). You can also buy new socks right from the app.
It sounds like a pretty complex process and while BlackSocks does have a nice video to explain how it works, it seems pretty tedious just to match socks together. But, of course, this is for real sock enthusiasts. As Rosen maintained, "We wanted to stay ahead of the curve; technology is going to be married with clothing."