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Smart Fabric


— Science

Squid-inspired tech could lead to color-changing smart materials

By - May 2, 2012 3 Pictures
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
— Wearable Electronics

Waterproof fabric anntena could save people lost at sea

By - October 3, 2011 3 Pictures
A patch about the size of the leather name tab on a pair of jeans could save your life one day – should you be stranded at sea, that is. In a project overseen by the European Space Agency (ESA), researchers from Finnish company Patria and the Tampere University of Technology have created a flexible fabric antenna, that can be sewn into life vests. Once activated, that antenna transmits its coordinates to earth-orbiting satellites, that can immediately relay the location to rescue personnel. Read More
— Medical

'Intelligent T-shirt' could remotely monitor patients' vital signs

By - September 21, 2011 2 Pictures
More and more we're hearing about clothing made from smart fabrics being used in the field of medicine, to monitor patients wearing such garments. One of the latest examples is the "intelligent T-shirt," designed by scientists at Spain's Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M). It can remotely monitor a person's temperature, heart rate, activity level, position and location. Read More
— Wearable Electronics

Experimental antenna-clothing outperforms regular antennas

By - August 24, 2011 3 Pictures
In the recent past, we’ve seen outfits that incorporate bio-sensors and batteries, and even a bikini with integrated solar cells. One of the latest innovations in smart fabrics, however, allows a person’s clothing to act as multiple antennas. Developed at Ohio State University (OSU), the system could prove particularly useful to soldiers, who don’t want to be encumbered by a protruding whip antenna. Read More
— Electronics

Conductive nanocoatings for textiles could lead to thin, flexible electronics

By - June 8, 2011 5 Pictures
Not long ago, we reported on a prototype thin, flexible smartphone known as the Paperphone. While it isn’t actually made out of paper, the success of a research project at North Carolina State University indicates that phones in the future could be. Scientists there have been able to deposit conductive nanocoatings onto textiles, meaning that items such as pieces of paper or clothing could ultimately be used as electronic devices. Read More
— Space

Lotus leaf inspires dust-busting shield for space gear

By - September 27, 2009 2 Pictures
Finding inspiration from nature in order to refine and advance modern technologies is nothing new; Mercedes’ bionic car was an interesting example and we’ve also seen a new ‘smart fabric’ based on the design of pine cones. Perhaps one of the most inspiring species, certainly in the plant world, is the lotus, which has already contributed to the development of fog-free windscreens and other surfaces along with improving the efficiency of solar cells. Now NASA is looking to the Lotus Leaf to develop a non-stick surface for use on spaceflight equipment. Read More
— Electronics

Micro generator produces power from movement

By - November 18, 2008 2 Pictures
A micron-scale generator that uses zinc oxide wires to produce alternating current could be woven into clothing to power wireless devices or implanted in the body to monitor vital signs. A team led by Zhong Lin Wang at the Georgia Institute of Technology’s Center for Nanostructure Characterization has developed the generator, which can produce an oscillating output voltage of up to 45 millivolts. Read More
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