November 3, 2011 § 1 Comment
For many people, an earth-shattering technological breakthrough, and one that I believe will happen in the next fifty years, would be a closet that arranges outfits on its own. One would simply put an item into the closet, and the closet would, perhaps through some kind of scanner system, identify the type, style, color, fabric, cut, and other characteristics of that item, and match it up with other items with which it would make a coherent outfit. When you went to an event, such as a nice dinner, dance, concert, or just a day at school, you would just tell the closet, or type into a keypad, what event you were going to, and the closet would present a suitable outfit for the occasion, complete with accessories.
Such a development would have a number of significant repercussions. Many girls spend countless of hours putting together outfits in the morning; this new and improved closet would greatly reduce the amount of time required to get ready each day, thus allowing girls worldwide to enjoy more free hours of sleep, pleasure, and/or productivity. Additionally, since the closets would all be similarly programmed, there would be greater uniformity of apparel, with many people wearing similarly arranged outfits, resulting in a decrease in the expression of individuality through clothing. Clothing morons everywhere would rejoice; those deemed “losers” because of poor outfit assemblage skills would finally have an escape and a chance to climb the social ladder.
However, the widespread use of these closets could also bolster the trend of humans making less decisions for themselves. Already we have music stations (like Pandora) and websites (like stumbleupon) that provide music and information that we have shown through past behavior to be likely to enjoy, thus reducing the role of our own effort and thought process in the matter; these advanced closets would be another step in that direction. They could, as part of a larger trend, promote mental stagnation. Humans would become more mechanized and robotic, passively and mechanically accepting information provided to us by our machines. We would eventually become, in the words of Thoreau, “the tools of our tools.” But at least we would be well-dressed tools.