It started with pants that repelled stains. Next we saw clothing that featured built-in insect repellent. Then along came clothes that can prevent colds and flu, never need to be washed, and protect against smog and air pollution.
Your clothes, it seems, are becoming pretty high-tech. Experts have long predicted that, as technology becomes more advanced, your clothing would be enhanced with high technology allowing us to, essentially, wear a high tech arsenal including computer equipment, communications devices, GPS, cameras, built-in cooling systems, and devices that generate electricity from your movement.
Some new fabrics may even be able to pinpoint medical problems before they reach dangerous levels. A smart sports bra under development at the University of Bolten in England may be able to detect breast cancer tumors before they grow large enough to be dangerous and spread. Other garments being designed may be able to monitor your body's vital statistics including temperature, heart rate, blood pressure, and the chemical composition of your sweat.
I'm forced to wonder, though, if many of these garments might end up being classified as medical devices, and thus subject to the clinical testing that medical devices have to endure. Otherwise, might we be faced with a bevy of clothing options that all claim to have health benefits, but which are completely untested? Do we really want our clothing choices to be even more confusing by adding in the claims that plague the dietary and nutritional supplement markets?