We’re familiar with billboards – those large signs which are usually displayed by the side of a road, touting some product or service. We’re also familiar with T-shirts – those ubiquitous articles of clothing which can become personal statements with such things as images of people or words designed to attract attention.
Unlike in the 1980s, the T-shirts of the future will display changing ads using E-ink.
What would happen if you could actually earn some money from what your T-shirt displays? What if what’s on your T-shirt could change, depending on who passes by, possibly becoming an advertisement aimed at the people who happen to look at you?
This is just what E-Ink Holdings is thinking about. The company, which is behind Amazon’s Kindle e-reader, can now create updatable digital displays on cloth, thanks to a special kind of e-ink that has been perfected for SURF (Segmented, Ultra-thin, Rugged, Flexible) displays – the kind of thing that T-shirts are as a display medium, in other words.
Granted, the present, initial application will be little more than a flashing sign designed to attract attention, similar to already existing flashing billboards, but given the march of innovation and opportunity it might not be long before low resolution black and white cloth displays can be shown.
Couple this future development with Wi-Fi technology, and viola! Your T-shirt can display an ad or a message specific to the person you’re talking to – an advertisement for a soft drink, for example, or maybe even a proposal of marriage to the girl of your dreams, done in this unique and memorable way.
And when that happens, earning money can be as easy as literally putting on your T-shirt.