At first blush, a necktie that doubles as a cloth for cleaning your touch screens may sound like something out of a "Saturday Night Live" TV ad parody ("a floor wax and a dessert topping!"). But if you think about it, the ties and T-shirts from Swipe Apparel are kind of genius.
The idea behind the SwipeTie ($39.95) is simple: a silk necktie with a patch of microfiber fabric (the same stuff used for lens-cleaning cloths) behind the tip of the tie, at the ready to wipe smudges and greasy fingerprints from the screen of a smartphone or tablet.
The company also offers a SwipeTee ($24.95): a cotton T-shirt with a similarly built-in swatch of microfiber. With the shirts there are three options for the placement of the cleaning cloth. The default location is the front inner lining of the shirt near the waistband, but for an extra $5 it can be placed on the left sleeve (for a convenient swipe by right-handed folks) or the right sleeve (for lefties).
With the SwipeTie, the microfiber patch is sewn on. With the SwipeTee, it's affixed with an adhesive.
Swipe's website is offering 10 color/pattern choices for the necktie and five T-shirt designs. Orders placed by 1 p.m. PST on Dec. 17 should arrive in time for Christmas via the U.S. Postal Service, according to a company representative. For those willing to pay more for shipping, orders can be placed as late as Dec. 20.