Wires

Having problems sorting socks? There an app for that

By Natasha Baker

TORONTO, Oct 8 (Reuters) - If matching socks is a dailyproblem a new app that sorts them into pairs and even lets usersknow when it is time to buy a new pair may help.

The free iPhone app called Blacksocks is the brainchild ofthe Swiss luxury sock company of the same name to help theircustomers match socks embedded with a chip.

It tells users which two socks are a pair, the date theywere purchased and how many times they have been washedthroughout their lifetime.

Although some critics may dismiss it as a useless waste oftechnology, Blacksocks founder and CEO Samy Liechti said itserves a purpose and is fun.

"It's a gadget and a lot of people, especially men, likegadgets," he explained. "Most of the buyers are tech-savvy earlyadopters."

Black socks, which are prone to fading more than lightercolors, make up 80 percent of the men's global sock market,according to Liechti.

"Socks wash out after a while. If customers have severalsocks from us washed out in different degrees, we thought weshould help them sort socks more precisely," he said.

A wireless device call the Sock Sorter scans each sock,matches it to its pair and indicates if it is for right or leftfoot.

Users scan their socks until the app notifies them that amatch has been found. The device also identifies lone socks andcan tell owners when it is time to buy a new pair.

The app has been tested on 2,000 pairs of socks, accordingto Liechti.

"We did a lot of testing and worked together with guys whousually evaluate satellite pictures where there are also severaldegrees of gray. They helped us a lot in analyzing the data weget out of the camera," he said.

So far, the company has sold about 500 starter kits, whichinclude the Sock Sorter and 10 pairs of smart socks and costs$189.

In addition to being useful, Liechti said it is also fun.

"There's this expression, gamification, everything becomesmore playful, and so we thought why should sorting socks not beplayful as well."

(Editing by Paul Casciato)

((patricia.reaney@reuters.com)(For the latest Reuters lifestylenews see: ))

Keywords: APP SOCKS