Developed in a partnership between clothing designer Betabrand and security software company Norton, a new pair of men’s jeans, as well as a women’s blazer, will include a lining of radio frequency identification (RFID) blocking material to prevent a trend the two companies are calling “digital pickpocketing.” According to the crowdfunding page for the jeans, the two companies claim “that more than 10 million identities are digitally pickpocketed every year” and “70% of all credit cards will be vulnerable to such attacks” by 2015.
The READY Active Jeans will include this material on both a front and back pocket, usually the spot where you would store credit or debit cards in a wallet. In addition, the Work-It Blazer for women will include one pocket lined with the blocking material.
Including this type of technology within an article of clothing isn’t cheap though. The regular MSRP on the jeans is priced at $168 and the blazer is priced at $198. However, both can be funded at a discount on the Betabrand site. Betabrand expects to ship the jeans during late February and the blazer during mid-March 2015. That’s assuming the blazer reaches the initial funding goal. The jeans have already surpassed the funding goal and will definitely become a product.
Of course, there are many less expensive alternatives if you are really concerned about digital thieves taking advantage of RFID. There are a number of RFID-blocking wallets carried by online retailers as well as upstart companies that are developing pouches and cases with similar fabric specifically for smartphones. The downside to using that type of case would be having to flip open the case each time the phone was being used or slip it out of the pouch to check it. However, it could be ideal for travel when a phone is tucked away in a backpack or purse.