By Natasha Baker
TORONTO (Reuters) - If matching socks is a daily problem a new app that sorts them into pairs and even lets users know when it is time to buy a new pair may help.
The free iPhone app called Blacksocks is the brainchild of the Swiss luxury sock company of the same name to help their customers match socks embedded with a chip.
It tells users which two socks are a pair, the date they were purchased and how many times they have been washed throughout their lifetime.
Although some critics may dismiss it as a useless waste of technology, Blacksocks founder and CEO Samy Liechti said it serves a purpose and is fun.
"It's a gadget and a lot of people, especially men, like gadgets," he explained. "Most of the buyers are tech-savvy early adopters."
Black socks, which are prone to fading more than lighter colors, make up 80 percent of the men's global sock market, according to Liechti.
"Socks wash out after a while. If customers have several socks from us washed out in different degrees, we thought we should help them sort socks more precisely," he said.
A wireless device call the Sock Sorter scans each sock, matches it to its pair and indicates if it is for right or left foot.
Users scan their socks until the app notifies them that a match has been found. The device also identifies lone socks and can tell owners when it is time to buy a new pair.
The app has been tested on 2,000 pairs of socks, according to Liechti.
"We did a lot of testing and worked together with guys who usually evaluate satellite pictures where there are also several degrees of gray. They helped us a lot in analyzing the data we get out of the camera," he said.
So far, the company has sold about 500 starter kits, which include the Sock Sorter and 10 pairs of smart socks and costs $189.
In addition to being useful, Liechti said it is also fun.
"There's this expression, gamification, everything becomes more playful, and so we thought why should sorting socks not be playful as well."
(Editing by Paul Casciato)
Earlier on HuffPost:
Find My iPhone
An app from Apple that tracks your iPhone's location so that if you ever lose it, or it's stolen, you can log onto iCloud.com and find it quickly. You can <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/13/icloud-find-my-iphone_n_1009425.html">read more about why Find My iPhone is so indispensable here</a>. <a href="http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/find-my-iphone/id376101648?mt=8">Download Find My iPhone Here</a>.
The popular social network that you may or may not belong to. <a href="http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/facebook/id284882215?mt=8">Download Facebook here</a>.
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A mapping application that won't give you horrifically bad directions. <a href="http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/mapquest/id316126557?mt=8">Download MapQuest here</a>.
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Identify songs -- and now television shows -- by holding up your phone to the speaker for a few seconds. <a href="http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/shazam/id284993459?mt=8&ign-mpt=uo%3D2">Download Shazam here</a>.
The Huffington Post
SHOCK: Your favorite news site, at your fingertips. <a href="http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/the-huffington-post/id306621789?mt=8">Download The Huffington Post here</a>.
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Save webpages on the Internet and read them later, even when you don't have an Internet connection. <a href="http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/pocket-formerly-read-it-later/id309601447?mt=8">Download Pocket here</a>.
Track your runs, or at least remind yourself daily that you really should be exercising. <a href="http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/runkeeper-track-gps-running/id300235330?mt=8">Download RunKeeper here</a>.
Remember The Milk
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Ostensibly a social network for foodies, Foodspotting is a good way to visually search, by dish, for good restaurant food around you. Don't get caught at a spot with small portions ever again! <a href="http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/foodspotting/id350727118?mt=8">Download Foodspotting here</a>.
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A beautiful app that pulls in the best of the day's writing into a central location. Clean navigation and and an addictive to keep up with the news (or adorable puppy photos). <a href="http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/pulse-news-for-iphone/id377594176?mt=8">Download Pulse here</a>.