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By building much of what we normally interact with directly into our clothing, we, in some sense, become `smart people', with the potential to interact with external processes (computers, programs, things, other people, etc.) in a much more natural way.

Exploring the concept of ``smart'' clothing, from the tip of my antenna hat, to the bottom of my electric shoes, in my day-to-day living, I found that a much more natural form of interaction with external processes emerged.

As an alternative to ``smart'' objects or spaces, `smart clothing' brings more control to the user. It suggests, even, the possiblity of turning the tables on what could otherwise become Orweillian--like surveillance.

It suggests a future in which people, through prosthesis, might both overcome disabilities, and have improved abilities.

The intimate nature of clothing --- the fact that it is always with us, and that (unless we are in prison, in the army, or in an old-fashioned school) we select it of our own accord, suggests a new place for ``smartness'' --- on people.

Steve Mann
Wed Feb 14 23:28:15 EST 1996