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The latest generation of cell phones (slightly larger than a zippo lighter) make many cell phone carrying problems moot. They are small enough and light enough that special accomodations are unnecessary. UI requirements on PDAs still keep them too bulky for this treatment. Pocket size will become less important as devices become smaller and more integrated.

Attitudes about how much gadgetry a person carries are highly local. Places with a lot of "high tech" workers tend to accept more gadgetry. Colder places - where coats and more clothing are common - are less tolerant because it is easier to conceal lots of gadgets in the extra clothing. Warmer places, where shorts and tshirts are the norm have to accept visible gadgetry - you need very big shorts to carry a cell phone and pager without people noticing.



Belts project a "batman" image. As rigid holsters, they hinder access. It's still possible to lose the gadget. But they work well for some people.

Shoulder holster

There are a couple of PDA shoulder holsters available, very James Bond. Reviews and links to providers should be available at http://www.the-gadgeteer.com/. However

Trouser pockets

Cargo pants were in style because they gave places to put your HandHeld and CellPhone. The mid-calf pocket of cargo pants is good for carrying HandHelds and CellPhones. There are cargo shorts for summer wear, but who knows how long this style will last. Before the last 2 years or so, the only place you could find clothes of this style is in Army Surplus stores.

Pants in general with larger pockets are here to stay for the next few years. Not necessarily in the form of cargo pants, but through various modifications with fashion to accomidate. There is a next step associated with this, however. Business clothing should start to appear with a more pervasive computing-centric pocket arangement.

Normal trousers cause problems. Back pockets kill gadgets, front pockets are uncomfortable. Good enough for modern cell phones, though.

Shirt Pocket

Well, it reminds you to bend at the knees, not the waist. I don't even keep sunglasses in my shirt pocket. I do NOT see how people keep their palmtops in their shirt pocket. Most of my mirrorshades get scraped when I stick them in a shirt pocket.

Jacket pocket

If you're the type to wear a suit all the time, the inside jacket pocket is near ideal. Except when you take it off. On the other hand, suits and jackets are warm - so cold climes only - and they go against the DressCode in many places, so you stand out and may even risk your job.

Wrist Straps

Reviews available through http://www.the-gadgeteer.com/, as above. The main drawbacks are that you can't have the stability of it being held in your hand if it is strapped to your arm, and you can't put on or take off a coat with out having to put this on or take this off first. And it looks really dorky.


A camera case may be worn on a lanyard or carried in the hand. This may be a good solution for multiple gadgets. These cases usually will not look like a purse.

See PervasiveComputing, PervasiveComputingArchived, ClothingAndTechnology

Gender and pockets

One of the barriers for the acceptance of many pocket computing devices in a truly pervasive sense among women is not any emotional or mental reasoning, but instead is a shortage of pockets, particularly large pockets. Women typically carry things in handbags instead, which means that it isn't as close to you as it would be if it was in your pocket. (anon)

Belts make the waist look fatter. Shoulder holster is too malish looking. Buttock pockets are unfavorable to the figure of most women (but very attractive on slender ones). Wrists wear bracelets already. Most dresses and skirts have no pockets (if they do, that looks saggy). In summer, that is a major issue.

Women have too many things to carry to make them fit all in a pocket or two. Never look in their purse without asking. It is full of absolutely necessary little bits of things. They would not call them gadgets. Women carry home with them. They do not let the purse everywhere, so its content is always very near them.

Only major issue at stake...in case several purses are used at the same time, women spend a lot of time moving their gagdets around.

I think that the womens' system of having a purse is so much better that it makes pockets almost obsolete. This page clearly describes the contortions men have to go through to fit lots of stuff into their pockets. Instead of trying to stuff a bunch of stuff into many small spaces tacked onto clothing, why not just carry around a larger storage space? Although I guess I'd really prefer to see both (i.e. lots of pockets and purses). I'm not going to start carrying around a purse anytime soon, but as a practical matter, I sort of wish it were allowed. -- BayleShanks

Allowed? By who? Who is preventing you? This is a great example of why PeerPressure is bad.

[A barrier is no less real nor difficult to overcome simply because it is social, rather than technical, economical, or physical. An example: Yes, it's silly that people won't hire my brother because of his nose ring. Yet, unless the rules of society change, he will have an extra hurdle in his job search, regardless of the silliness. ]

Purses are often replaced by small backpacks for usability.

On the other hand, my handbag has a special pocket for a tablet PDA. Though thinking further, it could have been designed for a small notebook. --MartinHarper



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