High-Tech Socks Easily Sorted With Embedded Microchip, iPhone App

Samy Liechti proudly shows off his invention

Have you ever wondered to yourself, Why isn't there a microchip in my sock? No, you haven't. Because it is a sock, and not a computer. But Samy Liechti, founder of BlackSocks.com, did wonder. And he decided to leverage his considerable influence in the sock industry to solve this problem, even though it plagued no one else. Cue "Smarter Socks." Each lonely stocking sports a unique near-field-communications component. That lets you identify your socks using your iPhone to ensure all your socks stay faithfully in pairs—and facilitates all sorts of other useless functionality, like telling you how black your socks really are. You'll need BlackSocks.com's proprietary handheld "Sock Sorter" device to make it all work, because unfortunately, iPhones are pretty much stuck-up snobs that cannot speak directly to your nifty new socks. You might keep telling yourself that this could not possibly be real, but all the signs seem to indicate it is. Leichti's sales video helps further blur the line between sanity and absurdity, with deadpan tidbits like "Some cynical women would claim that this is the only way a man could sort his own socks" and "This gives every sock a little CV—admittedly, it would not be enough to apply for a job, but gives you more information on the sock than ever before." Regardless of whether that all passes the smell test for humanity, the zeitgeist makes it a bizarre form of marketing genius—and, self aware or not—of social satire: You see, BlackSocks.com is not a socks subscription service. It's a socks innovation company. Via VentureBeat.

@GabrielBeltrone gabriel.beltrone@gmail.com Gabriel Beltrone is a frequent contributor to Adweek.