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Renowned computer scientist Ray Kurzweil predicted that by 2009 computers would be routinely embedded in clothes, jewelry, and other wearable accessories. For what useful purpose I have no idea; perhaps in 10 years there will be a great demand for climate-controlled sweats or air-purifying nose rings. Maybe miniature speech synthesizers will completely replace tag-printed washing instructions: “Watch it, buddy! I’m dry-clean-only.” Men’s briefs might come with wedgie early-detection systems. Right now it’s hard to imagine anything more practical than an old-fashioned cotton T-shirt, but in the future anything is possible. A decade ahead of her time, artist and MIT grad student Maggie Orth is already making strides in high-tech fashion. Orth and fellow artsy-smartsy cohorts at MIT’s Media Lab experiment with conductive fabric to create “wearable computers.” Her designs include a musical tablecloth, the LED-display-bearing Firefly dress (pictured) and matching necklace, and a potentially hyper-annoying musical denim jacket. Like something straight out of Back to the Future Part II, the jacket incorporates conductive fabric, a battery pack, speakers, and a MIDI synthesizer. And it’s controlled by one of Orth’s most ingenious devices, a fabric keypad. Flexible and versatile, it could be the interface of choice in years to come. Or it could just be the pocket protector for the new millennium. Orth lectures at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Saturday, June 12, at the Textile Museum, 2320 S St. NW. Free. For reservations call (202) 667-0441. (Neil Drumming)