Thursday, March 9, 2017

1920 Brooks Brothers in 2035

Clothing nerds like me and the people who read a blog like this often lament the changes at institutions like Brooks Brothers (despite those changes occurring before many of us were born) -- and the extinctions of others (which makes it worth noting that Brooks' changes may be why it is not also extinct). 

Anyway, I'm also a nerd for technology. 

Those of you who aren't may not know that we're probably less than 10 years away from custom, 3-D printed clothes (and most everything else) at near-zero cost. 

We're also probably less than 20 years away from full-immersion virtual-reality, which means we'll have blood-cell-sized robots in our bloodstreams that can shut down the signals coming into our central nervous systems from real reality, and replace them with signals from virtual reality -- which means virtual-reality will be indistinguishable from real reality. (Virtual-reality headsets like the Oculus Rift are primitive [but awesome by today's standards] precursors to this, like Pong was to, say, Battlefield 1.)

A video game in 1975 vs. a video game in 2016.


Moore's Law illustrated by the evolution of the Lara Croft character from each new edition (every two years) of the "Tomb Raider" game from 1996-2014.

Well, it just occurred to me that we'll likely not only be able to walk into current virtual-stores to shop, but also into past stores. Imagine not only being able to 3-D print a custom Number One Sack Suit or a "real" Brooks oxford button-down, but being able to basically step into a time machine and walk into Brooks as it existed in, say, 1920, having exactly the same experience you would've had then (except for the goods being nearly free), then exiting the store not onto Madison Avenue, but back into 2035 (or whenever) as your 3-D printer prints your better-than-authentic (because they're 100% custom) 1920 Brooks clothes. 

What a time to be alive! 

Given the choice between experiencing Brooks Brothers in 1920, or experiencing it served with a full dose of modern technology and modern medicine, I'll take the latter, thank you very much.  

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