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Armoured underwear

Posted 29/04/2014 by sevans

First came antibacterial socks, guaranteed to combat foot odour. Now it appears that silver based technology is being incorporated in a new range of men’s underwear. Wireless Armour is due to go on sale any day and is claimed by developers to protect wearers from the potentially harmful effects of electromagnetic radiation emitted from everyday wireless devices such as laptop computers and mobile phones. 

Wireless Armour is designed to protect the health of a generation glued to their mobile phones,’ according to Joseph Perkins, the founder of the company of the same name. ‘[The] fabric blocks 99.9% of harmful radiation, thus making the garments an extremely effective form of protection.’ And it is also claimed as antibacterial and shape holding - and can be laundered in a conventional washing machine.

The technology has been named as one of Richard Branson’s Top 10 Back of the Envelope ideas and picked as a contender for the Everline Future 50 most disruptive new businesses list. 

At the same time that Wireless Armour is being readied for deployment, as reported in recent issues of C&I researchers elsewhere are developing technology to incorporate electronic circuitry into our clothes (April 2013, page 20). Fashion technology company CuteCircuit, for example, has designed the Hug shirt, which gives the wearer the physical sensation of being hugged; and the Kinetic dress where movement makes the black dress light up with a blue-circle pattern that moves like a ‘halo’ around the wearer. Further into the future, scientists are also creating transient biodegradable electronics that are biocompatible with human skin (C&I, 2014, 3, 14).

As Wireless Armour itself concedes, there is as yet no conclusive link between cancer and wireless radiation. The health benefits of putting silver particles into garments are controversial – and could destroy beneficial bacteria along with the undesirable ones. Clearly, a lot more research is needed. A more proven way to reduce cancer risks, meanwhile, is to eat more veg and fruit.

None of this appears to worry Wireless Armour, which reports ‘big plans for the future’ with a woman’s bra to add to the range now in development.

Cath O'Driscoll – Deputy editor

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