THE world of gadgets is becoming smarter and smarter as we humans end up dumber by the day. So after smartphones, smart televi-sions and smart homes, we are convinced of the need for smart shirts. Yes, you read that right. Apparel brand Arrow has just launched its new smart shirt. Actually, this is a connected shirt for those who like to stay connected.
The Arrow Smart Shirt is a regular shirt, but with a smart cuff. The cuff is what holds the NFC tag and it works only with devices that have NFC capability. The Arrow Smart Shirt app is what does the tech bit. Download the app on your phone, connect it to your LinkedIn and Facebook accounts, load your favourite app, music playlist and smartphone modes in it to start using the smart shirt.
So how does it work?
Once the desired details are saved on the app, you can tap the phone on the app to save a specific function to the NFC chip.
Who does it work for?
Well, if you are a business person who needs to network with people, and a bit of a show-off, then this might just work. At least some people will be impressed by you walking around the boardroom tapping your shirt cuff on the back of their phones.
Not so smart really
It works only with NFC devices and yours has to be one to be able to use the tag effectively. So why not just tap the phones instead of the sleeve to pass on contact info? For other stuff, like initiating a playlist or switching to the meeting mode, it appears much more easier to just do it on the phone. It is unlikely a busy person who needs this will remember to write the mode on to their cuff before a meeting. Even if he does it will be a bit awkward if he’s seen tapping his shirt cuff all the time.
There is another big issue: it is very tough to get hold of an NFC phone these days. The entire Apple ecosystem is out and you pretty much have just top-end Android smartphones to make the cuff smart.
Should you buy?
Yes, if this is one of the three dozen shirts you possess. But don’t bother getting a Monday-Friday set to prove to the world you are smart. The message just might not go across.
Estimated street price: Rs 2,999