Next up in IoT: The Internet of shirts and shoes

Avert Dennison and IoT startup Evrythng will give shoes and apparel unique online identities

Some clothes already hang out on the Internet. Pharrell Williams’s hat has its own Twitter account, as does Mark Zuckerberg’s hoodie. Your clothes could be next to get online identities, though it won't make them famous.

IoT startup Evrythng is teaming up with packaging company, Avery Dennison, to give apparel and footwear products unique identities in Evrythng’s software right when they’re manufactured.

The companies have high hopes for the Janela Smart Products Platform, seeing a potential to reach 10 billion products in the next three years. The system could put a simple form of IoT into the hands of millions of consumers who weren’t even shopping for technology.

Evrythng and Avery Dennison don’t want to make your clothes into online celebrities, they want to make them more useful. What they're doing may make it harder to counterfeit desirable products and commit fraud at the returns counter. There could be some fun features for consumers, too.

When a shoe or piece of clothing rolls off the assembly line, it will get a physical marker that matches a specific entry in the Janela platform. That pairing will last for the life of the product.

The system can use different kinds of markers, including RFID (radio frequency identification) tags that can be read over the air and two-dimensional tags, such as barcodes, that smartphone cameras can read.

A piece of clothing that can account for itself might be a boon to makers of widely copied items. The OECD estimated the global trade in counterfeit goods at US$461 billion in 2013. Presumably, a product “born” with a unique identity that’s stored in the cloud would be harder to fake. Sports brands, which include makers of highly coveted athletic shoes, are among the target markets for the system.

Retailers might also be able to clamp down on returns. The U.S. National Retail Federation estimated last year that fraudulent returns during the year-end holiday season would cost $22 billion. With Janela, products would carry data with them about where and when they were purchased, making it harder to fake having bought an item.

The perks for consumers are small extras that might come in handy. Smartphone apps could read the label and tell a shopper about the product’s history, including where it was made, what’s in it, and how it was distributed. After buying the product, the owners could use an app to call up special offers and services associated with it.

The Janela platform could also be used for reordering a product, or others related to it, and ultimately it could deliver information about how to reuse or where to recycle the product.

Evrythng, based in London, was founded in 2011 and has attracted investments from companies including Cisco Systems and Samsung.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Cisco SystemspackagingsamsungAvery DennisonInternet of ThingsJanela Smart Products PlatformEvrythngIoTStartup

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Stephen Lawson

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?