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Future Trends in Lanyard Evolution

It's hard to say what's going to happen with lanyards in the future. The cynical among us might say, "Why should anything happen with lanyards? There's no reason they should change." Oh, but if we went by that line of reasoning, we'd still be using rawhide straps for lanyards, and dye sublimation would be no more than an idle dream. So let's look at lanyards in terms of future clothing trends.

Already, there are fabrics that will change color at a touch; there's no reason why these couldn't be used for lanyards. And scientists are experimenting with fabrics that can conduct a very low electrical charge and can store data, basically acting as a wearable computer. Imagine a custom lanyard template that lets you print a logo or slogan simply by programming it in. Even better, imagine a scrolling message on that lanyard, like the one you might see on an electronic marquee. How about a lanyard that changes color, or glows in the dark? Believe it or not, all that's not far away -- at least for ordinary items of clothing. And if someone makes it into a shirt, they're just as likely to make it into a lanyard. These futuristic lanyards may be expensive at first, but you know how electronics are. Before long they'll be so cheap and easy to make they'll be giving them away in cereal boxes.

There's always the possibility of using new synthetics that do all kinds of neat things, from imitating metals to being hundreds of times as strong. Take, for example, the individuals who carry items like keys, compasses, or buttons around on lanyards. Think they get tired of replacing their lanyards every few months? Of course they do. But with a lanyard made from, say, carbon nanotubules, you'd have something that would never wear out. This new material is being developed for space elevators, which would stretch for thousands of miles from the Earth's surface into space, and would help haul heavy loads up and down without rockets. The scientists who are making them are already talking about using them for tough, wear-forever clothing. Can lanyards be far behind?


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