Fashion for Fondling

Ordinarily, if a man looked at or tried to touch a woman's chest during a conversation, he'd most likely get slapped - or arrested. But digital vests from Wearable Video actually encourage people to reach out and touch these chest-high screens.

The vests, which play full motion video accompanied by stereo sound, allow companies to present sales information and promotional offers at trade shows, on sidewalks, and in malls, fancy dining establishments and entertainment venues. But not everyone is enamored. "My first impression is, this is a little hokey," says Rip Warendorf, senior vice president of online entertainment portal Zango. "They've got a little television strapped to a woman with a bikini. Which gets more attention, the video or the bikini?" We all know the answer to that.

"I'm not sure that [the sandwich board] is a form of media that even requires technology or innovation," adds Joe Jaffe, president and chief interrupter of strategic advisory company crayon. He suggests that the vest might be more marketable if it had GPS, Bluetooth or RFID.

"We're working on that," says president and founder David Berman. The next iteration of the vest, due out the end of next year, will be wired to capture and manipulate data. The big excitement, however, will come when the product is released to the general public. "Eventually, anybody will be able to buy what I have planned," Berman says. Yes, indeed. Not since Samantha Fox strutted the stage have bikini-clad women been crying out to be touched with such conviction.
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