The men’s underwear category is rapidly incorporating technology into its garments, we all know that. But what does it mean for you? A lot–these advances could save your life some day. We’ve identified three exciting technological advances in the men’s underwear industry that could change the way we think about underwear and apparel.
1. Thinking Underwear: In an attempt to gather information about soldiers on the front line, U.S. Army engineers are working on a type of underwear outfitted with a network of sensors that would transmit back information about soldiers’ health. This thinking underwear, also known as a “wear-and-forget physiological sensing system,” will drastically change the way the U.S. government monitors their men and women allowing them to track blood volume, level of exposure to hazardous substances and stress levels.
What this means for you: Smart underwear for civilians could change everything about the way we think about health–it’s only a matter of time before it makes its way from the Army to the rest of us. Thinking underwear could help doctors keep tabs on patients out of the hospital room, and when paired with undergarments that are able to administer medicine (another technology being developed), could save your life.
2. Armored Underwear: Military invented armored underwear was devised in response to the rising rate of pelvic area injuries on the battlefield. The U.S. Army worked with Armor Works (the authority on armor) to develop a type of “armored underwear,” specially designed to provide blast protection against debris from bombs and IEDs. Known as PUGZ, short for “protective undergarments,” these super undies look like a long pair of boxer shorts and are made with two levels of protection that guard the pelvic and inner thigh region, diverting force away from the femoral artery.
What this means for you: Their familiar appearance and comfortable construction make PUGZ ideally suited for anybody who wants extra package protection (and yes, they’re now available for mainstream consumers), but we think it’s only a matter of time before a more practical version becomes available for home use. Think of all the different places and activities where extra package protection will come in handy: golf, batting practice, paintball, mosh pits..? After all, when it comes down to it, you can never be too careful with the family jewels.
3. Fast-Drying Fabric: It’s common knowledge that fabrics are becoming very advanced, very quickly. Brands like adidas and Under Armour are making high performance fabrics with moisture wicking abilities a priority, which speaks to the importance of smart and fast-drying fabric in the underwear industry. No one has advanced more than C-in2, however, with fabric technology. Cotton retains 20-40% more moisture than synthetic fabrics; it’s this characteristic that limits its ability to perform well. C-in2 has added TransDRY technology to the cotton used in Grip, the brand’s first collection to utilize the technology, resulting in a 2000% improvement in one-way transfer of perspiration and sweat from the inside out. We’ve seen it with our own eyes; it’s literally a matter of seconds before the moisture is completely transferred and evaporated.
What this means for you: With a technology finally harnessed that literally moves moisture away from your body in a matter of seconds, it’s only a matter of time before cotton and other fabrics will be able to truly retain their feel, comfort and fit throughout the day no matter what amount of liquid passes through it (some brands already claim their wares can do this). This technology is bound to be incorporated into the apparel industry, especially in athletic and swimwear. Who knows, if fabric can truly dry within a matter of minutes, maybe one day we’ll be able to go back to washing our clothes in the sink!
Photo Credit: Tarrao Underwear