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Why your clothes need a mobile upgrade

Mike Elgan | April 15, 2013
The clothing most of us wear hasn't changed to keep up with mobile technology. But there are apparel makers that are rising to the challenge.

So how did clothes fail me? First, I advertised the possession of an expensive Apple product with my white earbuds. I could have painted a target on my back for similar effect. I need clothes that hide my earbuds.

Second, my wife dropped my phone in her insecure purse because women's clothing generally lacks secure pockets. My wife needs secure pockets in her coat, at least.

I've nearly ruined phones from rain exposure and from dropping them.

With Bluetooth microphone and speaker sewn into the thumb and pinkie, Hi-Fun gloves let you make calls using the "call me" gesture.

I write for a living, and would love to carry my Apple Bluetooth keyboard with me everywhere I go (I use it with my iPhone, iPad and Android devices). Unfortunately, I can take it with me only if I'm carrying a backpack or when it's cold enough for me to wear my ski jacket with the big front pockets.

Even a backpack isn't a solution. Because the far side of the backpack is away from the body, it's easy for thieves to cut it open with a razor blade without anyone knowing.

What I really need are durable clothes with lots of secure pockets for all my gadgets and accessories, and that hide my earbuds and generally give me the ability to work anywhere I choose.

I always carry earbuds, chargers and small lenses for my iPhone and Android phone.

I'd like to carry my full-size Bluetooth keyboard with me, and spare AA batteries for it. I also want to carry my 10-inch iPad. Oh, and I'll need my noise-cancellation headsets in case I need to do a podcast interview or make a business call from a noisy tapas bar (business hours in the U.S. are late at night in Europe).

The bottom line is that I'd like to carry my full mobile office with me wherever I go, and sometimes I go places where a backpack is not a good thing to have.

How to make computing wearable

The biggest mobile-centric clothing company by far is called ScottEvest.

Founded 13 years ago, ScottEVest originally sold a nerdy "eVest" laden with pockets that made you look like a cross between a fly fisherman and a war correspondent.

Today, ScottEVest sells a wide range of jackets, hoodies, pants, shorts and even a line of boxers with pockets in them.

While ScottEVest's original product made you stand out as a gadget-obsessed geek, the company's current line does the opposite -- it enables a maximum geek lifestyle while hiding the evidence with carefully designed pockets.

One of the most unusual offering is ScotEVest's catalog is a range of mobile-computing compatible clothes for women.


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