Clothes That Say It All

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Reima’s Smart 3305 bodybelt uses GSM technology to allow snowboarders, for example, to stay in touch on the mountains

Imagine a world where people are encased in an individual "bodynet," a wireless, apparel-based computer network that lets them make phone calls, check e-mail, watch TV, listen to music and pay bills as they walk down the street. Michael Dertouzos, the late director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Laboratory for Computer Science, forecast that scenario in his 1997 book, What Will Be.

Sound farfetched? Well, since then, the technology and fashion media have promised consumers that computer-enabled intelligent clothes — perhaps the first forerunners of bodynets — will soon be de rigueur. Yet apart from...

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