Do RFID socks tell us we're pathetic?

If sorting your socks out is too challenging, these NFC socks can do it for you. Via an RFID reader. And your iPhone. And the Internet.

The high-tech Smarter Sock can tell you how old it is and where its mate is hiding. Blacksocks

Today I bought some Calvin Klein socks that seemed pretty fancy: they're antibacterial and made of "rayon from bamboo."

But leave it to the Swiss to make a mockery of such humdrum foot coverings. Smarter Socks are high-tech socks with RFID buttons that can help you find a sock's mate, figure out how worn it is, and manage your sock inventory via an iPhone app.

Yes, you can manage your socks by logging on to your account and messing around with their RFID numbers. It's supposed to make your life simpler compared to messing around in your sock drawer.

The socks work with a near-field communication (NFC) gadget called a Sock-Sorter, which connects to your iPhone via Bluetooth. You scan one sock, and then scan your heap of all-black socks to locate its mate. When it finds one, your iPhone will beep.

Clear as mud? So instead of using your brain, you can use two devices and the Internet to sort your socks.

But wait, there's more: "'Smarter Socks' also record the life story of every pair in a special login area on the Blacksocks Web site," the company said in a release. "Customers can therefore track what their favorite socks have been through, plus check the status of their collection with their iPhone or the click of a mouse."

And if you're not too good at judging how faded your socks have become, you can use your phone's camera and the Smarter Socks app to figure out whether it's time to put them to pasture.

Manufacturer Blacksocks runs a "socksription" service that regularly delivers deluxe socks to clients around the world, as founder Samy Liechti explains in the vid below.

He's selling a starter kit of 10 pairs of Peruvian cotton Smarter Socks with the Sock Sorter for $189. The sock app is free on iTunes.

This might be useful if you, like me, bought many pairs of black socks because you realized you were inept at herding socks of different colors. Since socks wear down at different rates, it does make sense to keep original pairs matched.

But the last thing I want to do with laundry is scan it, photograph it, and manage it online with some application. As if folding and ironing wasn't bad enough.

As for my mismatched socks, I'll hand them over when you rip them from my cold, dead feet.


 

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