technology is getting all "mainstream" with the
announcement of a partnership called Levi's ICD+ between Levi's, of
501 jeans fame, and electronics giant Philips.
Philips has been
working on a wearable technology product line for a number of years
but this project with Levi's is the first realisation of its plans.
Peter Ingwersen of
Levi's told The Guardian: "Our first miners pants were launched
in 1873 - we needed to examine what people wear today. We identified
a group called nomads who are constantly on the move...and need to be
wired, so we began looking for partners."
This is going to
be more than a superficial glance at "Utility Chic" we are
assured. This is about more than a mobile phone holder on a bag
strap. The collaborations' mission statement is "Philips
technology in every shirt and skirt" and will be widely available.
The jackets set
for autumn release will feature phones with voice recognition
dialling, microphone in the collar and earpieces in the hood. The MP3
player will automatically cut out when the phone rings, and the whole
lot is machine washable. Just hope that you don't need your phone on
a sunny day!
Osti, voted most influential designer last year by men's magazine
Arena Homme Plus, says that his biggest challenge has been to
humanise the technology. He says that our way of thinking of
miniaturisation must also change. "It must be so flat and
flexible that it becomes a second skin," he said. "We aim
to massage the technology into the garment."
Well, we'll all be
Matrix-'d up before you know it. The collection is launching this
autumn, and information about prices is conspicuous by its absence.
When we get Levi's to give us some links to images of the clothing
we'll pass them on.