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Personalized lanyards are the workhorse accessories that bear distinct designs and logos. They've been helping us out since the 15th century. Modern lanyards have many items to tote, including cell phones, keys, identification badges and more. It seems people acquire new gadgets all the time. It's safe to say we'll always need lanyards. That is, unless scientists can design an alternate product that could take the place of lanyards…


A Brief Look Back…

Twenty years ago, who could imagine smart phones, with their advanced computing capabilities? Who would have thought that GPS devices would guide us to our destinations without the use of paper maps, or hand-written directions? And what about Wi-Fi, iPads or any number of other advancements? Who would have dreamed we'd have televisions that were slim, lightweight and incredibly true to life with their high-definition features?


Three decades ago, the old Walkman or the later model, the Discman, was the best we had in the way of portable music. But today's traveling listener can access his or her entire music library with touch-screen capabilities.


Pagers, PDAs, floppy discs and more – the list of obsolete devices is longer than the wait time for a dial-up modem. Perhaps it's not too farfetched to imagine that some spanking new technology could replace the lanyards we've known for centuries.


Looking Forward: The Lanyards of the Future

Over the years, various types of collars have entered fashion circles -- some of which were pretty strange in appearance. Consider the 17th century Van Dyke collar, with scalloped edges that folded and fell at the shoulder. The pussy bow collar was popular in decades past, and offered a tied bow beneath the wearer's chin. Other types of collars included the butterfly collar, the cape collar, the johnny collar, and who could forget the detached collar – a collar that came apart from the shirt and was stiff with a dog-eared look. The Piccadilly collar was made of plastic – the phrase "hot under the collar" comes to mind.


Lanyard Collars
Keeping in mind the unusual trends we've seen in neckwear, it's entirely possible that the next fad could include a lanyard collar – a collar that hangs a bit longer, thinner, and bears key ring attachments and various clips for keeping items handy. Americans are excellent double-taskers, so who wouldn't wear a dual-purpose collar?


Lanyard Belts
If you were alive in the '80s and '90s, you probably remember the fanny pack -- those waist pouches of the past that were great for vacations and outings when carrying a wallet or purse was not convenient. Although they made life easier, their popularity faded when people began viewing them as old-fashioned. Perhaps it's because so many map carrying, discount-dining tourists sported them. Oh, and your grandparents wore them, too – direct confirmation in case you doubted the packs were uncool.


Lanyard belts may be a future development, with all the convenience of a fanny pack and the added bonus of holding your pants up.

Everyone loves a robot, whether they're the creepy but cute owl-hamster variety known as the Furby, or the sleeker versions you know from Star Wars. Technological advancements have made mechanical and virtual agents more accessible, so who's to say that a robot lanyard is not looming on the horizon? Imagine a furry variety, that sits on your shoulder, parrot-style and carries your keys and gadgets. Or maybe you'd prefer the streamlined version – a simple robot arm that rolls beside you and carries your essentials – a personal assistant of sorts!


None of us knows what the future holds. Maybe personalized lanyards have evolved to their greatest heights. Thus far, they have met all our needs as stylishly as possible. Unlike the fanny pack, they've managed to stay functional and fashionable!