If you’re fed up of finding socks without their mates, a new high-tech system promises to track—and match—rogue items across multiple piles of laundry. For $189, Switzerland-based Blacksocks will send you 10 sets of “Smarter Socks,” complete with radio-frequency ID buttons attached to each cuff. The technology is equal parts ridiculous and ingenious. To locate a sock’s partner, simply hold the included wireless reader, dubbed the “Sock Sorter,” over the first sock’s RFID button. Then, wave the device over a mound of clean yet startlingly similar socks. When a match is found, you’ll hear a beep.
Why do you need to pair socks that are the same color, you ask? A free iPhone app enables the keenly fastidious sock-wearer to measure a sock’s age and color density, and in so doing, ensure that corresponding sets wear evenly over time. You don’t even need one of Blacksocks’ tricked-out smart socks to use the app’s “Blackometer,” which takes a “black reading” of your socks to determine if they’re still wearable—or just bearable. Handily, you can also purchase new ones through the app.
A free app enables the fastidious sock-wearer to measure a sock’s age and color density.
The company even includes a social element, allowing you to attach memories—like a CV of sorts—to each item. But although Blacksocks’ system encourages sock monogamy, it’s also open to life changes. If you lose half of a pair or one develops a rip, you can reprogram the RFID chips and forge new partnerships. (The only thing missing is a Facebook status update.) Who knew managing your sock drawer was such an arduous task?