Pushing war and world hunger to the back of the line, the next important issue that technology is tackling is mismatched and missing socks. A company called Blacksocks has developed what it's claiming are the world's first smart socks that make them virtually impossible to mis-match, and incredibly easy to find in a basket overflowing with laundry.

Spending £116 on ten pairs of boring black socks might seem a little outrageous, but that price tag includes RFID buttons sewn onto each one, and a handheld wireless detector that can be used to find each sock's proper mate—ensuring they all wear evenly over time. It can even be waved over a mountain of similar looking socks and will automatically beep when a given one's match is nearby. It's as much genius as it is ridiculously over-the-top.

Furthermore, an accompanying free iOS app lets you snap a photo of an ageing sock with your iPhone's camera and take a "black reading" so you can know for sure when they've faded to the point where they'd be embarrassing to wear. Because that's the part here you need to be embarrassed about. [Blacksocks]