Forget carrying a separate hotspot router to have a local network wherever you go -- what if you were the hotspot? Fashion designer Borre Akkersdijk has come very, very close to making that vision a reality with his experimental BB.Suit. The goofy-looking cotton onesie is knitted using a special 3D technique that leaves space for WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS and NFC connections, turning the owner into an access point. Akkersdijk showed off the potential of the suit at South by Southwest, where it became a roving jukebox: attendees could both track it on Google Maps and upload songs through it to create a special playlist.
There are only two prototypes of the BB.Suit, and Akkersdijk knows that it has room to evolve; he'd like to work with technology companies to create a smart clothing platform. To him, smartwatches and other current head- and wrist-worn wearables are too ungainly. It may be a while before connected apparel is more stylish than this puffy design, though. They'll need slim, flexible electronics that can survive a washing machine. Until then, intelligent garments will likely remain too fragile and bulky for the fashionistas among us.