Described as one of history’s greatest inventions, a zipper not only makes it more convenient to fasten your clothing, it also can be created to make life easier for people with disabilities. To keep up with smart clothes and smartwatches, a zipper of the future will also be smart. YKK, the world’s largest zipper manufacturer, has collaborated with Lifekey, the wearable technology company, for the development of Touchlink – an interactive zipper that can be connected to mobile phones.
Touchlink uses Near Field Communication (NFC), the same technology that powers “tap to pay” capabilities on smartphones. Users need to simply tap the zipper to their smartphone to view information about the garment on their screens—eliminating the need for hangtags and allowing more interaction between brand and buyer, reports Sourcing Journal.
Jason Kintzler, Lifekey’s founder and CEO, says that the platform can become an innovative advertising space. The retailers and brands can push exclusive content tailored specifically to existing customers, important product details, wash and care instructions, product warranty or safety information, etc.
“For the brand, it’s really the first time they’re able to truly ‘activate’ a product,” Kintzler told Rivet. “Not only is the brand able to share important product details, but it can also be useful for providing wash and care instructions, product warranty or safety information and so much more.”
The smart zipper will hit the market in January and will allow integration with the brands’ existing operating systems. Lifekey’s smart straps can execute the same safety actions as the smart zipper.
Since the company’s founding in Tokyo in 1934, YKK has continuously set industry standards for quality, service, value, and innovation in the production of zippers, plastic hardware, hook and loop fasteners, webbing tapes, and snap and buttons. With integrated production and supply systems in 72 countries and regions around the world, YKK is positioned to meet the needs of the textile and sewing product industries as they increasingly diversify and require shorter product cycles.