October 31, 2001
Technology in clothing or on an ID badge will play a big role in security, surveillance, and disaster-relief operations in the future, a panel of speakers said Wednesday at the Tech-U-Wear conference in New York.
Since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, public safety and military personnel have shown increased interest in incorporating computing devices into fabric so biological sensors could monitor heart rates or the locations of those wearing the technology, says Jeffrey Wolf, CEO of Sensatex Inc., developer of the Smart Shirt System. Other wearable security devices demonstrated at the show included an ID badge developed by Charmed Technology, which helps keep track of military or safety personnel by transmitting location and identifying information to a central database. Using wearable technology to monitor individuals led some conference participants to raise questions about ethics and privacy. Said Alex Lightman, CEO of Charmed Technology, "Wearables will be the single most controversial technology in the next decade." After all, wearables integrate technology with the one thing most of us never leave home without: clothing.
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