Hello, your jacket is ringing

 Hello, your jacket is ringing: What smart clothing can do – now and in the future

Different cuts, in all colors and diverse materials, fashion accessory or functional object: clothing is diverse. But smart? 

Smart clothing - when a shirt turns into an interactive accessory

In today's blog article, we're really getting down to the business of underwear, which is being made smart. Not only for everyday life, but also for the fields of medicine and sports. - Checking heart rate, body temperature, stress level? No problem. Currently, mostly ultra-flat sensors are incorporated directly into the textile fabrics, which collect data directly on the skin. The result: even more accurate readings and, at the same time, greater wearing comfort compared to rather bulky fitness trackers, chest straps, etc.

Many researchers are already working on completely new materials that make additional technology completely superfluous. Intelligent clothing is therefore nothing less than the optimal interplay of material and technology: textile technology, IT, materials research, interface design - all these areas are working together on forward-looking solutions. 


eTextiles - interdisciplinary and fascinating

Sports underwear that monitors not only heart rate, breathing and activity level, but also our water balance and body temperature: when it comes to such functions, the magic word is "printed electronics". Wafer-thin printed electronic conductors and tiny sensors enable the development of "e-textiles" that offer incredible innovation potential. Self-illuminating fabrics or coatings that increase visibility in dark light conditions. 

Many specialists are working together to realize eTextiles: Materials research, textile technology, textile design, fashion design, apparel technology, interface design, electrical engineering, computer science, artificial intelligence - all these disciplines together take care of the complicated transfer of electronic elements and functions into fabrics. 

Research topics include fiber- and yarn-shaped sensors for different properties, solar cells, transistors and batteries. Evaluating textile sensors is challenging because, like other fabrics, they can wear out, slip or wear out. In this case, AI ensures usable results despite variations in sensor data.

The production of e-textiles is a mixture of textile production and electrical engineering: smart fibers and yarns are processed using industrial production methods such as weaving and knitting, and meanwhile combined with conventional yarns. Smart clothing can already be produced by industrial means, despite the different components. 


A brief overview: smart clothing can already do all this

Smart clothing is already being used in more areas than you might think. A small overview at this point proves the diversity of possibilities:

Measuring vital functions in medicine and sports

  • Shirts, pants and more check medical data such as pulse, respiration and blood pressure.

  • Baby pajamas measure the heartbeat and oxygen content in the blood during sleep and sound the alarm in the event of irregularities.

  • Special diabetic socks register foot inflammation, and smart wound plasters monitor wound healing.

  • High-tech sportswear provides soccer training data on sprints, speed and ball contact.

  • Smart pants register movement sequences and movement intensity via sensor units. The data is used to evaluate ergonomic workstations.

  • T-shirts measure vital signs via biometric sensors.

  • Special sports shirts measure values such as distance covered, calories burned, movement intensity and stress level.

Optimizing beauty and fitness

  • Shirts and pants stimulate muscles with electrical impulses: interesting not only for athletes, but also for rehab patients.

  • Textiles act like a skin cream when worn.

  • Specific fabrics emit pleasant fragrances during exercise.

  • Special sportswear with aluminum and titanium cools the body and enables more intensive training sessions.

  • Eindhoven University of Technology is developing a sweater with three special layers that regulate temperature and moisture depending on the situation.

  • Neck scarves cleanse the air we breathe of pollen, viruses and pollution via integrated activated carbon filters.

  • A special dress by the London fashion house Cutecircuit registers the wearer's breathing pattern via conductive carbon material - and changes color depending on the depth of the breaths.

  • A smart T-shirt detects falls and then independently sends out emergency calls.

  • Smart sports shoes with integrated sensors measure load and balance and improve posture when running or doing other sports.


Conclusion: Smart clothing becomes an everyday object

The possibilities are fascinating, the manufacturing processes are developing rapidly, and research is booming: smart clothing will increasingly become part of our everyday lives and be able to take on ever more extensive functions. Textile sensors in clothing: not a distant vision, but soon a matter of course that can provide more comfort and safety in many areas. 

veröffentlicht am : 2022-05-04 10:30