In 2004, there was a huge hulabaloo when President Bush was caught with something beneath his jacket. He was having a debate with John Kerry when he was caught on film with some sort of bulge beneath his jacket. The images were analyzed by Dr. Robert M. Nelson, a photoanalyst from NASA who normally uses his skills on planets and moons, who said the object was consistent with a tube or wire of some sort rather than the wrinkled shirt that Bush claimed it was.
It’s unlucky for Bush that his run for office had such unfortunate timing. A current area of research is the concept of the wearable antenna, and such a device might have made a bulging problem in his campaign go away. (Although, of course, we know that it didn’t impact it seriously.)
Manufacturing wearable antennas is not easy, however. Many of the current models involve doing something similar to what we see in the picture: using some sort of shape that can be sewn into a material while conforming to the wearer’s body. These antennas must be tuned take into account that they’re right next to a vertical pile of water, something not terribly friendly to electromagnetic wave propagation.
Of course, the goal is to not only move toward integration of antennas into clothes but all sorts of electronic devices. Imagine if you could distribute the computing power of your cell phone into your shirt: when someone catches you mumbling into the air, you could claim you were using your shirt sleeve to have a conversation.