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Shimmy Technologies Wins IEEE Contest for Technology Transforming the Retail Industry

The startup’s training program teaches garment workers new skills like 3D apparel modeling

3 min read
Garment workers being trained to use Shimmy Upskill, which teaches them new skills like digital pattern making.
Garment workers being trained to use Shimmy Upskill, which teaches them new skills like digital pattern making.
Photo: Shimmy Technologies

THE INSTITUTEThe clothing industry has been slow to automate its manual processes. Some of the reasons include the high cost of installing equipment compared with the unit cost of garments, a lack of research and development, and the challenge of training low-skill workers to use computers and sophisticated software. What’s more, cheap labor is still plentiful in Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, and other countries.

But as advanced technologies—such as cutting, knitting, and sewing robots—make their way to garment factories, millions of low-paid workers in Southeast Asia are expected to lose their job to automation, according to a study by the International Labour Organization. There are about 60 million garment workers around the world, and roughly 85 percent of them are women. Often a garment factory is a town’s only employer.

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The Transistor at 75

The past, present, and future of the modern world’s most important invention

1 min read
A photo of a birthday cake with 75 written on it.
Lisa Sheehan
LightGreen

Seventy-five years is a long time. It’s so long that most of us don’t remember a time before the transistor, and long enough for many engineers to have devoted entire careers to its use and development. In honor of this most important of technological achievements, this issue’s package of articles explores the transistor’s historical journey and potential future.

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