Concept of Wearable Electronics Gains Momentum
By Mike Hanlon
January 20, 2004
German clothing manufacturer Rosner and Infineon have announced a jointly developed men's jacket named "mp3blue" that features built-in mobile telephony via Bluetooth and an MP3 player.
The electronics are an integral part of the clothing and controlled by a textile keyboard incorporated on the sleeve. This new product for technologically progressive, fashion-conscious men can be ordered via the Internet from August at the MP3BLUE web site.
Electrically conductive fabric is sewn into the "mp3blue" jacket, where they connect a compact electronics module to a textile keyboard on the left sleeve, to the headphones and the microphone, which are integrated into the collar.
The module contains an MP3-Player with 128 megabytes of memory, a Bluetooth gateway to control a mobile telephone, and a rechargeable battery that can supply the electronics with power for up to eight hours.
When the wearer makes a telephone call, the stereo system becomes a headset, and the music is automatically interrupted when calls come in. The jacket can be washed by taking the electronics module out of its holder.
Studies performed by the Venture Development Corporation predict a global turnover of over one billion (thousand million) euros for the year 2007 for the "intelligent textiles" market. The foundational technology developed by Infineon opens up new markets and channels of distribution, which the company intends to expand significantly by leveraging its position as a market leader.