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Wear your own personal network

Philips and Levi's to wire urban workwear

Consumer electronics company Philips Electronics and clothing manufacturer Levi Strauss plan to bring a range of wired clothing to UK high street retailers next month.

The four jackets, branded Industrial Clothing Design, or ICD+, feature what the companies describe as a body-area network: a mobile phone, an MP3 player, a remote control unit and headphones, all linked together by a collection of cables stitched into the fabric, the companies said in a statement.

The garments will be sold through "premium independent retailers" and not through Levi's own chain of stores, said a spokesman for the company. "It's a different price point," he explained.

Details of prices and the stores through which the clothing will be sold were not immediately available.

One neat twist is that wearers can listen to a phone call or music using the same headphones, switching between the two with the remote control.

While the jacket and networking cables are washable, Philips spokesperson Ellen de Vries warns that the phone and MP3 player are not. "You just click off the equipment," she said, but there is "no need to take out the wiring."


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