Levi's and Philips create wired up clothing

Be first to wear the phoned up MP3 anorak

Wearable technology is getting all "mainstream" with the announcement of a partnership called Levi's ICD+ between Levi's, of 501 jeans fame, and electronics giant Philips.

Philips has been working on a wearable technology product line for a number of years but this project with Levi's is the first realisation of its plans.

Peter Ingwersen of Levi's told The Guardian: "Our first miners pants were launched in 1873 - we needed to examine what people wear today. We identified a group called nomads who are constantly on the move...and need to be wired, so we began looking for partners."

This is going to be more than a superficial glance at "Utility Chic" we are assured. This is about more than a mobile phone holder on a bag strap. The collaborations' mission statement is "Philips technology in every shirt and skirt" and will be widely available.

The jackets set for autumn release will feature phones with voice recognition dialling, microphone in the collar and earpieces in the hood. The MP3 player will automatically cut out when the phone rings, and the whole lot is machine washable. Just hope that you don't need your phone on a sunny day!

Designer Massimo Osti, voted most influential designer last year by men's magazine Arena Homme Plus, says that his biggest challenge has been to humanise the technology. He says that our way of thinking of miniaturisation must also change. "It must be so flat and flexible that it becomes a second skin," he said. "We aim to massage the technology into the garment."

Well, we'll all be Matrix-'d up before you know it. The collection is launching this autumn, and information about prices is conspicuous by its absence. When we get Levi's to give us some links to images of the clothing we'll pass them on. ®

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