Just when you think the world has seen and invented almost everything that can be invented, they have more surprises up their sleeves to shock you with.
We’ve heard of all sorts of convergences when it comes to technology — a tablet with a refrigerator, a television screen with handbags, cameras with music players. There is no denying that many daily things around us that may seem completely unassuming can easily be gadgetized. But there’s one thing that you might think is least susceptible to our tendency to turn things into pieces of technology, yet indeed has: Underwear.
Yep, you read right. Underwear. Believe it or not, scientists have found a way to technologically improve briefs and knickers to become pieces of technology worth investing in. Read on if you’re curious about how else our most intimate wear can improve our lives aside from keeping our private bits warm and well covered up.
1. Non-Wash Underwear
Leave it to the Japanese to come up with something like this. Scientists from the Land of the Rising Sun, in their effort to help ease the lives of their fellow astronauts, have developed a new line of undergarments that can be worn for weeks at a time without requiring washing. Takao Doi is the first man to test antibacterial materials researched and developed by the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency by performing strenuous exercise in zero gravity. They’ve thought of everything. In addition to being sleek and sexy, the astro-fabric is also supposedly flame- and odour-resistant, insulating and quick-drying. Special socks accompany the outfits, with a separate pouch for the big toe, enabling astronauts to use their feet as hands.
2. Posture-Correcting Innershirt
We all know how important a good posture is. Not only does a bad posture make you look timid, insecure, maybe even lazy, it may even present spinal and nerve problems in the future if left that way for prolonged periods of time. Austrian design student Talia Elena Radford Cryns has perhaps found a solution to all that by inventing a shirt that corrects poor posture through nanotechnological torture. This ergonomic undershirt is laced with sensors and pistons, programmed to evaluate ideal muscle positioning. When your shoulder slumps, for example, a “mechanical impulse” will quickly be released that resembles a slight electric shock to zap your posture into correction. Victims of “ergoskin” treatment are expected to quickly alter their behaviour, sparing themselves agonising retribution.
3. Anti-Rape Underwear
Three engineering students in the Indian state of Chennai have created a GPS-equipped, anti-rape underwear for women in light of the rising rape cases plaguing their country. The underwear, which not only allows family members to track and know where you are at all times by means of GPS, is capable of knocking down sexual assaulters with 3,800 kilovolt shocks that will also alert police when activated. Resembling a nightgown with wiring between the breasts, the underwear – called Society Harnessing Equipment (S.H.E.) – sends an electric current to the assaulter the moment he tries to press a woman’s body, connecting a circuit inside the underwear.
4. The Solar Power Bra
Triumph, a brand in swimwear and underwear that needs no introduction, took opportunity of the number of bikinis they sell annually to create a bra that can generate small amounts of electricity capable of charging small devices like mobile phones and iPods. Called the Solar Power Bra it was the company’s big ecological coming-out party that infuses solar panels into their line of underwear that can generate electricity while you lounge by the pool or beach, suntanning. The organic cotton-blend suit carries a photovoltaic cell strong enough to recharge small devices and power an electric bulletin board (”Stop staring at me!”), two cup-hugging drink pouches with attached straws and a stern warning not to get wet.
5. Heated Undershirts
Anyone who has been to a cold climate country will know that Long Johns can only do so much to help keep you warm. For those beyond extreme blizzard weather, Germany’s warmX has your best interests at heart, offering a men’s and women’s line of heated undershirts that come with their own heating devices to really effectively keep the cold at bay. These attractive undershirts come in three colors, with a 1/4-sleeve or full-sleeve option. The rechargeable heating units last six hours, and comes complete with surge protection just in case of any emergencies, say, during a snowball fight.
Does this make you look at underwear in a new light yet?