The SXSWiest thing to come out of SXSW Interactive this year might be the BB.Suit, a onesie that functions as a Wi-Fi hotspot, so you never have to go without your precious internet. According to its manufacturer, a company called ByBorre, the suit is 3D-knitted — basically, created by an automated knitting machine — and the Wi-Fi hardware is embedded right into its fabric, along with Bluetooth and a GPS tracking device. It’s like a Snuggie, but with internet.
Take a second to think about this revolutionary technology. Imagine, if you’ll bear with me for a moment, a world in which anyone with enough money to afford it could walk around and have access to the World Wide Web wherever there’s cell service — tweeting, checking, reading Wikipedia articles, updating Facebook — as if they were carrying tiny computers in their pockets. Someday, you might even access this very website from a similar mobile internet device.
Perhaps, in the not so distant future, you’ll be able to populate these wearable computer suits with simple, cleanly designed computer programs — progs, we might call them — to help you complete everyday tasks like banking, reading the news, or navigating your way to the grocery store. Maybe the computers will have cameras, and a prog that helps you share photos with friends will attract a multi-billion-dollar offer from a larger, more established internet company, and turn it down, despite showing no proven way to generate revenue. What if, someday, even your grandma will have one?
It’s a beautiful, utopian vision, and I can’t wait to see it become a reality. But it’s really too bad that we’ll all have to wear these ridiculous outfits.