When Apple released its object-finding AirTags back in April, it probably expected us to snap them on some expensive belongings. You know: wallets, keys, those sorts of things. I mean, you’re paying $29 for a single AirTag; might as well keep it on something valuable.
But in the case of Matty Benedetto, creator and product designer at Unnecessary Inventions, his prized possession just happens to be a pair of very white and suspiciously new-looking socks.
I’m not one to judge but there are two glaring issues when it comes to sticking AirTags onto socks. One: socks are usually made of thin fabrics and there is no natural way they could hold these metal circles. Two: AirTags aren’t built to be waterproof or water-resistant.
Thankfully, Matty has figured out how to address the first issue. The first step: create a pair of silicone holders that can be glued onto the sides of the socks.
To do this, he took the AirTag’s measurements and used them to design a reverse mold in Fusion 360. Once it was 3D printed, all he had to do was pour in some Mold Star 20T silicone rubber. To make the silicone holders pop, he also mixed in some red pigment.
Matty gave a pretty useful tip about the 3D printing mold, as well. Provided you won’t be using the mold again, you can actually break it apart using a heat gun. Considering the materials you are pouring into it have a higher heat capacity than the actual mold itself, you can heat up the mold and peel it off quite easily with no damage to the actual product.
After the silicone settled and all the air bubbles were removed, he popped out the silicone holders and glued them to the socks.
With these babies connected to your socks, the AirTags will never slip out while providing you the exact location of your foot mittens.
I have to admit, they have a certain allure to them despite their questionable design – kind of like how tube socks look both cool and tacky at the same time.
This AirTag idea is certainly a huge aid when your dog (or child) snatches one of your socks and leaves it somewhere. All you have to do is open up the Find My app and your Apple device will lead you straight to it.
Sadly though, there isn’t much these socks can do regarding the waterproof/water-resistant issue. Like it or not, both super glue and AirTags have their limits. While they might survive a light rinse, going through a whole wash cycle in a washing machine is another story – which is a shame since this is where most people lose their laundry (and by that, I mean socks).
The design is pretty cool, though. Picking the red pigment for the silicone holders seems to have been the right choice, as the color blends really well with the white of the cotton socks. To see more of Matty’s unnecessary inventions, check out (what else) Unnecessary Inventions!