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Smart Fabric

Scientists have applied conductive nanocoatings to textiles, which could pave the way for ...

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

The humble lotus leaf continues to inspire the scientific world 
 [Images: Flickr Creative...

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

3-in-1 Xip3 transformable jacket

Here's an article of smart clothing that doesn't involve bio-sensors, solar panels or built-in Bluetooth - just clever design. CoreGear's three-in-one Xip3 is a water repellent, fleece lined jacket that quickly morphs into a backpack and (our favorite) a pillow for grabbing a quick nap in comfort.  Read More

Micro generator produces power from movement

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

Smart Fabrics: Context is developing wearable sensors that could detect RSI

You don’t often hear fashion mentioned in the same sentence as cutting edge medical technology (unless you watch Grey’s Anatomy), but shirts that double as health monitors are just one type of garment under consideration in the emerging smart fabrics industry, a market that is estimated to be worth over €300 million, with a growth rate of roughly 20% per year.  Read More

Solar Powered Necktie

It might not be the most chic of clothing items, but form takes a back-seat to function with this solar powered necktie. Designed to charge a mobile phone, the concept tie was created by researchers at Iowa State University (ISU) whilst experimenting with uses for photovoltaic (PV) textiles to create smart garments.  Read More

Helicopter Smart Suit
 Photo Credit: SINTEF Health

April 11, 2008 Safety clothing might be imperative for some jobs, but when it becomes a hindrance and makes work uncomfortable and annoying, it needs to be reassessed. Take the orange safety suits worn by helicopter crews working on oil platforms off the coast of Norway - they're designed to stop the wearer from drowning or freezing to death if their choppers crash-land into the freezing ocean - but the properties that make them effective insulators also make them incredibly hot and sweaty to work in. Enter Helly Hansen's smart suit, impregnated with micro-particles of paraffin wax. The wax slowly melts as body temperatures increase, gradually sucking heat away from the body to cool the wearer through the day, making it much more comfortable. And if the wearer is plunged into icy water, the wax releases stored heat as it solidifies, allowing the suit to be even more effective at the safety component of its job.  Read More

Australian rugby players in Canterbury's new ionically charged IonX sports clothing

September 12, 2007 New Zealand’s famous All Blacks rugby team are about to miss out on a significant Kiwi advance in sports clothing technology that their Australian, South African, Irish and Scottish teams will bring to the World Cup. The All Blacks’ Adidas sponsorship will prevent them from using the revolutionary new IonX sportswear from Canterbury - a smart fabric that uses ionic energy to maximize blood flow, cool and calm the wearer, and deliver measurable performance gains in power output and recovery times.  Read More

Eleksen’s new eSystem

August 28, 2007 Smart fabric technology makers Eleksen Group have announced sensor technology allowing consumers to choose which gadget they want to control via their interactive clothing. The new technology system will also benefit garment makers wanting to create interactive apparel (iApparel) but lack the technological capabilities.  Read More

Zegna iJacket

August 23, 2007 An innovative new jacket design from Zegna Sport will allow wearers to simultaneously listen to their iPod and talk on their cell phone utilizing a controller embedded in the jacket sleeve. The Bluetooth iJacket has been made using smart fabric from the Eleksen Group , makers of touch-sensitive smart fabrics for clothing, electronics and accessories.  Read More

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