Surveillance is increasing. Edward Snowden’s revelations about the extent of NSA spying may have put the cat among the pigeons yet it has not, as yet, changed much: nations such are planning increases on surveillance and the retention of metadata to purportedly combat terrorism. Clothing label The Affair has harnessed this new paranoia to create a line of "unhackable" fashion, inspired by both Snowden and, possibly obviously, George Orwell’s 1984.
"The 1984 Collection" by the London-based label is suitably austere yet fashionable: waxed cotton shirts, chinos and jackets in muted navy, maroon and black. All look suitable for serious young apparatchiks. But the "stealth fashion" appellation comes not from the utilitarian clothes but the UnPocket "stealth technology" insert you can buy for £18 (US$30) that fits into pockets on the items.
The UnPocket is made from fabric that blocks cellular, Wi-Fi, GPS and RFID frequencies. It's designed to make your smartphone untraceable so that it cannot be tracked or automatically updated with U2 music for as long as it remains within. For those who don’t like a record of where they have been, or potentially being listened to, it may be a boon.
Such technology is not new: it is already used by travelers to protect their microchipped passports or credit in an age of identity theft. Such items are common for purchase on travel websites, often sold as wallets or travel pouches (the slimline kind which go beneath pants and always result in users fishing helplessly in their crotches for beer money). The Affair is clearly aiming to bring a fashionable edge to the equation and is certainly more stylish than a useful-but-dowdy waistbelt.
The company is running a Kickstarter campaign to bring its UnPocket enabled stealth fashion to market and has surpassed its £25,000 funding goal. Delivery is slated for February 2015.
Source: The Affair
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