A bodyglove is the future of clothing. Not fashion, which changes with the seasons, but the underlying substance of it: material, manufacturing, technology. Jack first experiences this future when Jill tosses him a plastic package the size of a teabag. “Open the package,” she says. “Pretend it’s your birthday.”
Jack rips off the top and pulls out a tiny black outfit, sized for a leprechaun. “What is this?” he says. “It wouldn’t fit a two-year-old.” Jill replies, “It’s a bodyglove, Jack, the latest in fashion. It’ll fit you twice over. Put it on.”
Jack scrunches and stretches the cloth until he’s down to the toe, then he sticks his foot in and pulls it up to his crotch in one smooth motion. It feels unlike anything he’s ever experienced. Cool and warm at the same time, more like body lotion than fabric. … He stuffs his huge arms into sleeves he would have sworn were too small for his pinky finger. The glove expands. It doesn’t so much stretch to accommodate his size, as it seems to flow around him. He pulls it across his chest and strokes the seam shut. It feels good, like a day in early Spring with a warm sun and a cool breeze. Perhaps he’s found one bit of technology that suits him, so to speak.
And later when Jack whines that he could really use a shower, Jill explains, “The glove’s alive, remember? It’s also full of nano-circuitry and MEMS, micro-electromechanical devices. It keeps you warm when it’s cold and cool when it’s hot. It cleans you when you’re dirty, and otherwise optimizes your clothing experience.”
The glove can sport the latest in fashion. When Jack and Jill are on the run in Albuquerque, Jill tells Jack, “You don’t blend well and you’re not dressed for a fiesta.” Jack looks down at his skin-tight, black bodyglove. “I thought you said this was all the rage?” He looks back up and blinks several times. Jill’s glove, previously jet black, is now bright yellow with splashes of burnt orange. Her jacket resembles a serape, wheat-colored with Aztec geometric patterns in brown and red. “That was a quick change,” he says. Jill replies, “Bodygloves are programmable. This is today’s fiesta wear.”
And gloves can be bullet proof. It’s all in the MEMs.
Impossible? Pure fantasy? Cloth that monitors your physiological state is on the market today. Self-healing cloth, material that repairs rips and tears automatically, is in lab.
I look forward to what the future will bring.