News Column

Video Coming to a Shirt Near You

Dec. 6, 2012

Debra D. Bass

Video screens are everywhere, so why not on clothes. If you thought logo apparel was obnoxious, wait until there's a YouTube video of a cat playing piano on the sleeve of a stranger next to you at the supermarket.

Will clothing be yet another thing we have to turn off before landing and takeoff? The answer is yes.

Macy's and Sean John have introduced a shawl collar, fleece sweater with a windowed pouch on the left sleeve. The pouch is for a Fashion Video Name Tag. The small screen offers continuous play of downloaded video content, but it does not offer sound just yet.

Sales of the high tech sweater will be tested at select Macy's stores beginning this week, according to reports. Macy's is offering an introductory price of $125 (regular price will be $198), according to reports.

The display comes from Recom Group and was discovered at geek heaven, also known as the Consumer Electronics Show. The display has a 2.8-inch active matrix organic LED panel, although we here at Stylefile have no idea what that means it sounds impressive. The resolution of the screen is 320 by 240 pixels (the same as some smartphones) and it has 2 gigabytes of storage.

The concept is a bit geeky but intriguing. Right now, I can't imagine walking around with a glowing screen on my sleeve, but then again five years ago, I'd never imagine a cell phone as my most faithful palm companion.

Manufacturer's of the Video Name Tag promise that the internal lithium-ion battery allows the screen to operate for 6 to 10 hours continuously. The little display supports full motion video or still images.

Durand Guion, Macy's VP of men's fashion, spotted the device at last year's Consumer Electronics Show and approached Sean John.

"This is a big deal for Macy's and Sean John," Rob Norden, Macy's chief executive officer told Marketing Daily in an email. "It's never been done before."

The fashion video tag slides into a pocket on the sleeve, which makes it waterproof, but still have to be removed before washing. The device comes with software that allows users to download any YouTube or personal video. It holds up to two hours of content, which can be played for up to 10 hours from a single charge.

Macy's is calling it the world's first integration of video and fashion, but that sounds tricky. There have been experimental video and fashion items on runways before and technically exercise items with a pouch for an iPod Touch could integrate video and fashion, but let's not be picky.

Macy's stores in Missouri are not yet scheduled to carry the product, but you can keep track of availability at recomgroup.com/macys.htm. And if you want to see the screen (sans the shawl sweater from the aforementioned rap star and fashion mogul) in action Tom Cruise uses it as a communications device in "Jack Reacher," opening later this month.



Source: (c)2012 the St. Louis Post-Dispatch Distributed by MCT Information Services


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