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Tommy Hilfiger introduces Tommy Jeans XPLORE smart clothes



Tommy Hilfiger
/ Business Insider

  • Tommy Hilfiger introduced this week a line of smart
    clothing that rewards you for wearing it.
  • There’s even a Pokémon Go-style game you can play while
    you’re wearing them.
  • It raises some privacy concerns, though Tommy Hilfiger
    says that the chips can be turned off. 

This week, Tommy Hilfiger introduced Tommy Jeans
, a new line of clothes and accessories that all come
bugged with “smart chip technology,” which tracks how often you
wear them and where you go with them on.

There’s even an exclusive game, sort of like Pokémon Go, that you
can use to earn rewards like gift cards and concert tickets.

It’s all of your must-have Tommy Jeans favorites with
smart chip technology,” the brand’s website reads. 

The line includes both men and women’s style hoodies ($99),
jeans (about $99), T-shirts ($39), fanny packs ($89.50) and a few
other selections, all with the embedded chips. The app is free to
download for iPhone and other iOS devices.

The company said in its announcement for the line that it
hopes the chipped clothes and game will help create a
“micro-community of brand ambassadors.” In essence, they’re
rewarding you for wearing the products more often.

Reaction to this line hasn’t been universally
positive. TechCrunch
reporter Sarah Perez called the concept “ridiculous,” writing
that while Tommy Hilfiger is known for experimenting with their
products, she sees this particular use of tech as more of “a
loyalty program requiring customers to overspend in order to
join,” than an actual innovation.

How does it work?

According to Tommy Hilfiger, the clothes all contain a “smart
tag” that connects up to a mobile app via Bluetooth. The app
awards points for every time they wear the pants, and encourages
players to collect virtual hearts based on their real-world
locations. It’s much like Pokémon Go.

The game can only be played while the clothes are within
Bluetooth range — so unless you always carry a full change of
clothes with you, you’ll need to be wearing them.

The points you earn can be cashed in for gift
cards, signed merchandise, tickets to Tommy Hilfiger
runway shows, and other benefits, 
although it’s
unclear exactly how the points-to-prizes conversion will work,

Wait, what about privacy?

Tommy Hilfiger representatives told
that the chips are encrypted and can be turned off
at any time. However, it did not specify how much personal
customer data is being collected through the app, or what data is
provided back to the company.

The company 
did not immediately respond
to request for comment from Business Insider on this

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