Soon, ‘smart clothes’ to auction themselves if unused
Scientists are developing a novel technology for ‘smart clothes’ that would contact charity shops or auction websites like eBay when they are not worn regularly. Forgotten items in the wardrobe will text owners to remind them that they are gathering dust, researchers said.
If ignored for long time, the clothes will automatically contact charity shops asking to be recycled or offer themselves for auction on eBay.
“Think of the surprise when an owner suddenly receives bids for items they did not know were in their wardrobe,” said Mark Brill, lecturer at Birmingham City University in the UK. “The connected wardrobe is a practical, engaging concept to encourage people to think about their clothing consumption. Ultimately, I hope it will encourage more ethical fashion consumption,” said Brill.
According to him, users can now move away from the idea of ‘ownership’ of clothing, to simply using them as long as they need them, ‘The Telegraph’ reported.
Researchers plan to create an ‘Internet of Clothes’ that tags garments using washable contactless technology, known as radio-frequency identification (RFID).
Users will receive a tweet and message every day from the clothing asking to be worn, depending on the weather and frequency of wear.
If the notifications are ignored by the user, the garments will get in touch with a clothing charity and ask to be recycled, with an organisation automatically sending out a mailing envelope for return.
The ‘smart clothes’ will keep track of their usage to let others know who had owned them previously as well as how much it originally cost, who made it and how much the worker was paid for it.