When the robot apocalypse hits, we won’t even be safe from zippers.
From smart refrigerators to smart TVs and even the smartphones we can’t seem to put down for even a second, it seems that with every passing day, more and more aspects of our daily lives are becoming increasingly technologically advanced. And now thanks to the Japanese zipper manufacturer Yoshida Manufacturing Corporation, or as they are better known to most people around the world YKK (Yoshida Kōgyō Kabushikigaisha), even the humble old zipper may soon be getting a super high-tech makeover.
YKK’s new take on the zipper is called the “Auto Fastener” and it is essentially a zipper that can be controlled via an app on your smartphone. Although still in the development stage, YKK recently showed off how this “smart zipper” would work through a video they uploaded to their YouTube channel.
Controlling a zipper? There’s an app for that.
Titled Auto Camping, YKK’s promotional video for the Auto Faster shows a mother, a father and their daughter enjoying a bit of camping shortly before Christmas. While in a peculiar looking treehouse, which seems to consist of an uncovered platform in a tree, the daughter falls asleep. Suddenly, a snowflake begins to fall from the sky and lands on the sleeping girl. Noticing the impending snowfall, the father gets up to do something to protect his daughter from the elements, but the mother stops him, pulls out her phone, taps her screen and a trio of Auto Fasteners begin to move until eventually constructing a tent around the girl all on their own. By the end of the video, the girl is protected in the tent (except for a conspicuous hole at the top of the tent) and viewers are left wondering why it was that only the mother seems to have known about this self-assembling high-tech tent.
Check out the video below.
Although no concrete details have been released about how much Auto Fasteners could cost or by when people could expect to see them on store shelves, YKK said in a press release that they hope Auto Fasteners will one day be used for both industrial purposes and in clothing.
While certainly an interesting idea with many potential uses, YKK’s hope to equip clothing with “smart zippers” is at the very least a little bit concerning and instantly brings to mind images of people mistakenly opening and closing the zippers on their clothing at inopportune moments, such as when a man is making use of the restroom and he has his fly down. That being said, if YKK does ever release a consumer version of the Auto Fastener intended for clothing, it seems unlikely that they would make themselves a target for lawsuits by making the zippers so powerful that they wouldn’t be able to be stopped manually.
Interestingly, this is not the first time that YKK has toyed around with the idea of high-tech zippers. Back in 2014, YKK started a series of anime shorts called Fastening Days, which was essentially a very well-produced animated series intended to promote the YKK brand by presenting viewers with a fun anime revolving around zippers.
Fastening Days, which has a total of three episodes, is set in a large and diverse city in the not so distant future and centers around the story of two children superhero inventors, a boy named Yoji and a girl named Kei, who use their inventions (i.e. high-tech zippers) to bring people together (literally and figuratively) and protect their city.
Check out the English version of Fastening Days below.
Fastening Days 1
Fastening Days 2
Fastening Days 3 Part 1
Fastening Days 3 Part 2
Fastening Days 3 Part 3
If you’re in the mood for reading about more strange and seemingly unnecessary high-tech devices, then you may want to check out the article below.