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Arvind Uses RFID to Smarten Up Arrow Dress Shirt

The textile company's garment has an NFC tag embedded in its left cuff, enabling a wearer to share his business card and social-media pages with others, as well as launch a music playlist.
By Nathaniel Prince
Jan 30, 2017

Thanks to Near Field Communication (NFC) technology, men's dress shirts have become RFID-enabled in India. Produced by Indian textile manufacturer Arvind, the Arrow Smart Shirt contains an NFC tag embedded in its left cuff.

After installing the Arrow Smart Shirt app on an Android smartphone, a wearer can swipe his phone over his left cuff to configure the app so that other users can then access his business card, LinkedIn profile or Facebook page, merely by swiping their NFC-enabled phones over the tag on the cuff. This, the company reports, improves the speed with which information can be shared at meetings and events, such as conferences or conventions. The app can also be configured to launch a music playlist.

A person wearing an Arrow Smart Shirt can swipe his smartphone over the left cuff to configure the Arrow phone app, enabling others to access his business card or social-media pages.
Arvind offers branded apparel in India via a variety of licenses and franchises, including Arrow. "Over its rich history of over 170 years, Arrow has been at the forefront of several innovations in menswear," says Venkatramani K, the chief operating officer of Arvind's Heritage Brands division. "From the detachable collar, the first pre-shrunk cotton short, to sportswear in the previous century and to innovations such as the stitchless shirt and Autoflex trousers, Arrow has constantly evolved to meet the needs of the modern professional. The latest addition to this list is the smart shirt. The smart shirt is designed to address the needs of today's tech-savvy young professional."

The company decided to use NFC technology due to its compatibility with Android smartphones, which are currently in wide use in India and throughout the world. In addition, Arvind was pleased with the outcome of an earlier experiment in which it used NFC technology to distribute e-catalogs in stores. The tag embedded in the shirt contains the NTAG216 chip, manufactured by NXP Semiconductors. To indicate the tag's placement on the shirt, Arvind sewed a small reflective label onto its left cuff.

The Arrow Smart Shirt software and the app, which were developed by a third party, were thoroughly tested to guarantee that they would work in a wide range of use-case scenarios. In addition, the shirt itself underwent testing at an external laboratory to ensure that the embedded tag could withstand washing, either by hand or by machine.

Arvind released the Arrow Smart Shirt this past August. Retailing at 2,999 Indian rupees (US$44), it is similar in cost to the conventional dress shirts available in India, making it a competitively priced investment for the average businessman.

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