While the market of controlling an iPod or iPhone via clothing is spearheaded and dominated by companies like QIO Systems with their PANiQ controller, Fibretronic with CONNECTEDwear and Skullcandy with the AMP’D system it seems the time is near where traditional textile companies add this material to their product portfolio.
During my search for news I came across X-breath Fabrics, a Taiwanese textile innovation company which offers next to waterproof/breathable fabrics the X-breath Pad, a component consisting of a flexible, elastic keypad, a textile cable and the connector to the iPod.
This module, like all other systems currently in the market, can be sewn into any kind of garments and is fully washable.
I have not yet checked the pricing or the condition of availability but the fact that this, for the textile industry rather new, component could soon become one of the standard parts like zipper or buttons.
Keypads in clothing is for sure not the only innovation wearable technologies can and will offer but each journey starts with the first step.
This step into a technology enhanced fashion future might very well be the inclusion of device controlling components – just like zippers offer and alternative to buttons when it was introduced in the 1920s and 1930s