Making gadget geeks ever happier.
Accumulating funky new gadgets is one of the best things about being a tech-enthused person, but finding a place to put them all can be tricky. According to Scott Jordan, founder of Chicago-based SCOTTeVEST, the days of too many gadgets in too few pockets may soon be over. He talks about hands-free headsets, lab coats, and why he’s glad he’s not a lawyer anymore.
How did you come up with the idea for creating technology-enabled clothing?
I created the SCOTTeVEST to solve a very basic problem, probably one you’re familiar with: I couldn’t carry all of my electronic gadgets. All too often, juggling my Palm and its accessories, a cell phone, an MP3 player, the remote for my car, a digital camera, the newspaper, and everything else I needed, was a losing battle. Today’s clothes simply aren’t designed to hold this much stuff, or all of the cords for headphones and such that go along with today’s electronic gear. Before long, you need a suitcase just to carry your gadgets, and that defeats the purpose of being truly mobile. Although I tried, I could not find anything on the market that was fashionable, functional and affordable. So, the idea of technology-enabled clothing came to me.
How did you vision for the SCOTTeVEST evolve?
At first, I wanted to create a fashionable, lightweight garment to carry electronic gadgets. I quickly realized that carrying the gadgets was only part of the problem. The difficult part was finding a way to use the gadgets while on the go. If you’ve ever tried to plug a hands-free headset into both a cell phone and your ear before the caller gets sent to voicemail, while you’re driving, then you know what I’m talking about! An expert design team helped me find a solution to this problem: Incorporate conduits throughout the interior of a garment, allowing you to connect your electronic devices to your headset/ear buds and each other.
Before becoming a tech entrepreneur, you were a lawyer. What was it like to make the transition?
Awesome. I was waiting for the opportunity for awhile. I hated practicing law and don’t care much for most lawyers. So, for the most part it was easy, except as a lawyer you don’t get any real management experience, so that was the tough part, having to learn about business and management from scratch.
Have you encountered any resistance to the idea of such a futuristic type of clothing?
Somewhat, since we’ve had trouble to get a retailer to stock our goods. They’re so risk averse. But the need is definitely here now, in the present. The fusion of several devices into one is not yet at its full potential, and the mass market is not yet ready to trade in all their multiple devices for one, more expensive device.
What future directions do you see for the company?
As my products continue to evolve and new versions are created for specific markets, I foresee that technology-enabled design will solve challenges across all markets including recreational apparel, security uniforms and travel gear. This vision is becoming increasingly clear as fans such as the NYPD, US Military, Verizon Wireless, government officials and Microsoft executives, for example, grow reliant on my patent design for career and personal use. I am also expecting different applications to be created through cross-development with partner companies. We also continue to create new and improved versions of the eVEST such as Sport Lite version, launching in a few months, and a future lab coat version for healthcare practitioners and lab clinics. My vision is that “technology-enabled clothing” will become a household term.
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