If you wear jeans, trousers, pantaloons, or slacks, you should jump onto the Internet-of-Things bandwagon with a new technology that is, statistically, unlikely to electrocute you!


With the advent of “the Internet of things” (or “IoT” if you prefer), it has become possible to put electronic gizmos in nearly any consumer product. If you ever wanted to add a speaker, some LED lights, or a GPS tracker into a some random household object, now’s the time!

The Issue:

Strangely, despite the existence of IoT-enabled clothing (“wearables”), the IoT has not yet addressed a common garment-configuration question: “is the zipper on my jeans still unzipped?” (Figure 1).

Fig. 1: This question also applies to the fly of button-based trousers, but for the sake of simplicity, we will limit ourselves to zippers in this proposal.

Yet the technology already exists to alert the wearer of this fashion faux pas!


The solution here is incredibly simple: to detect if the zipper is unzipped, just conduct electricity through it. If the circuit is closed, then electricity will be conducted and we know that the zipper is zipped (Figure 2).

This information can then be transmitted to the user’s smartphone, which will make an informed decision to potentially send the wearer the text message “FYI: your fly is unzipped.”

Fig. 2: In this highly technical electronic diagram, the button must be fastened and the zipper must be ≥90% zipped for the circuit to be completed. Note that only the top part of the zipper is electrically conductive.


This is one of the most obvious applications for “IoT wearables.” How is this not yet a product!

PROS: Brings a long-overdue technological update to an ancient leg-covering technology.

CONS: Malfunctions may result in a particularly unpleasant electrocution. This is the price of progress.