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Smart Fabric

Researchers have successfully transferred monolayer graphene to fibers commonly used in the textile industry. The transparent, flexible material could one day be used to create embedded wearable electronics, such as phones, fitness trackers or MP3 players.

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According to a recent University of Portsmouth study, almost one in five women avoid exercise because of breast-related problems, such as pain, embarrassment about excessive breast bounce and not being able to find the right sports bra. That’s around 20 percent of women who may be missing out on the health benefits of physical activity. Fortunately, help is on the way in the form of the Bionic Bra, which quickly adjusts to breast movement, providing more – or less – support as required. Read More
Hexoskin has announced a new version of its crowdfunded smart fitness vest. The Arctic smart shirt doesn’t make any changes to the already solid fitness tracking specs, but offers a new design and custom material designed to keep the user warm in more extreme environments. Read More
Rightly or wrongly, the French are known for clothing designs that are often less than practical. Now, however, French company Cityzen Sciences has won the CES 2014 Inclusive Innovation in Everyday Health award for its development of a Smart Sensing fabric woven with integral micro-sensors – these add the practical benefit of monitoring the health and fatigue levels of the wearer. Read More
When you're exercising, you may think that you're working your left and right leg muscle groups equally, but are you really? Finnish company Myontec's Mbody system reportedly lets you know. It consists of a sensor-equipped pair of MShorts, an MCell module that plugs into those shorts, and an app that displays the processed data on your mobile device. Read More

Textiles with integrated electrical circuits, commonly referred to as smart fabrics, show a great deal of promise for applications such as clothing with embedded electronics. While previous approaches to producing the fabrics have involved weaving conductive materials into ordinary fibers, a new technique simply coats them with silver. Read More

Wearable electronics like headphones and watches have long been a common inclusion in many an active person's tech cache. Such devices roll the function of electronics into a comfortable, ergonomic package that can travel far distances at fast speeds. The next generation of wearable electronics will become even more wearable and functional, shedding some of the bulky casing and integrating directly into clothing. From smart socks to hot jackets, the future of technology is molding itself around your body. Read More
Materials scientists at Harvard University and the University of Exeter have invented a new class of polymer fibers that change color when stretched. As is often seen in nature, the color is not the result of pigments, but rather comes from the interference of light within the multilayered fiber. Inspired by Margaritaria nobilis – also known as the Bastard Hogberry – the new fibers may lead to new forms of sensors, and possibly to smart fabrics whose color changes as the fabric is stretched, squeezed, or heated. Read More
If you’re a burglar, and all that separates you from your quarry is what appears to be a simple sheet of fabric, you might not want to cut it. That’s because it could be a new smart fabric, that will set off an alarm if it’s breached. Created by researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Reliability and Microintegration, the fabric incorporates a web of silver-coated conductive threads that are connected to a microcontroller. If that controller detects a break in the weak electric current that travels through the fibers, it’ll be sure to let the right people know. Read More
If you’ve ever watched a cephalopod such as a squid changing color, then you’ll know that it’s a pretty amazing process – they can instantly change the appearance of their skin from dark to light and back again, or even create pulsating bands of color that travel across it. They are able to do this thanks to muscles that manipulate the pigmentation of their skin. Now, scientists from the University of Bristol have succeeded in creating artificial muscles and cells, that might someday allow for the same sort of color changes in smart clothing that can camouflage itself against different backgrounds. Read More
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