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Smart Fabric

The BIOTEX project aims to develop clothing with in-built medical monitoring abilities.

May 28, 2007 We've been speaking recently with a couple of innovative companies who are taking different angles on how wearable medical observation apparatus can be used in sport and medicine. Now, an EU-funded project is setting out to take the next step - creating comfortable clothing with the built-in ability to measure a range of physiological data using intelligent textiles instead of bulky apparatus. Comfortable and unobtrusive biochemical measurement equipment could play a significant role in preventative and recovery medicine, among other areas.  Read More

Power Plastics to provide electrical power to packaging and intelligent clothing

January 27, 2006 One of the more interesting companies we’ve encountered in the last 12 months has been Konarka. For starters, Konarka was founded by the winner of the 2000 Nobel Prize for chemistry, Dr. Alan Heeger, who has since become the company’s chief scientist. We first wrote about Konarka’s light-activated plastic power supply for the battlefield, but in more recent times we’ve seen the company announce a joint development program with Textronics to create prototype garments and fashion accessories with portable, wearable power generation capabilities and more recently comes the news that the Konarka’s Power Plastic materials are being developed to extend and enhance packaging and display applications. Imagine a can or bottle with dynamic content, boxes that light up or containers that serve as power sources for their contents.  Read More

adidas launches adidas_1, the World's First Intelligent Shoe

March 7, 2005 Adidas has launched the intelligent shoe it unveiled last year. Known as adidas_1, the shoe provides "intelligent cushioning" by automatically and continuously adjusting itself. It does so by sensing the cushioning level, using sensors. It then calculates whether the cushioning level is too soft or too firm via a microprocessor and adapts with a motor-driven cable system to provide the correct cushioning for the specific purpose at that time. A prime example of the convergence process in which computers are embedded in everyday objects to enable them to play their role more effectively, the adidas shoe is one of a number of intelligent clothing items arriving at market this year. Available now, adidas_1 costs US$250 or 250 Euros.  Read More

New 'Smart-fabric' inspired by pine cones

November 26, 2004 A new smart-fabric derived from the properties of pinecones has been developed by the UK based Centre for Biomimetic and Natural Technologies. The fabric adapts to changing temperatures by opening up when warm and shutting tight when cold just like a pinecone's scales do in nature, and is just one of the emerging developments in the burgeoning field of "biomimetics". The "breathing" fabric is designed to stop the wearer getting hot or cold by adjusting itself to both internal and external temperatures. The textile is made up of a layer of thin spikes of wool, or another water-absorbent material, that opens up when it's made wet by the wearer's sweat. When the layer dries out, the spikes automatically close up again. A second layer underneath protects the wearer from the rain.  Read More

Smart Clothing for the slopes - Oakley's Radiator Jacket

Tuesday July 22, 2003: Gizmo's ongoing interest in clothing that uses innovative design and new technology to enhance its function has brought us to the ski slopes this season, where examples of smart clothing like the Radiator Jacket from Oakley are hard at work.  Read More

Intelligent biomedical clothing enables personal healthcare

Leveraging their world-renowned expertise in wearable electronics, scientists at Philips Research in Aachen, Germany, have developed a wearable, wireless monitoring system that can warn patients with underlying health problems, assist clinicians in the diagnosis and monitoring of patients at risk, and automatically alert emergency services in the event of and acute medical event.  Read More

Our Clothes are Getting Smarter

Clothes have done much more than serve as protection from the weather for tens of thousands of years. Over the last few millennia they've been worn as statements of rank and fashion, adapted for countless specialised uses from military combat to surfing and bee-keeping, cut and tailored in every conceivable shape, colour, size and fabric, and become signposts for entire cultures. Along the way clothing manufacture has embraced and developed many new innovations, and it seems a natural progression for micro-electronics and other emerging 21st century technologies to find their way into our wardrobes next to the zip-off tracksuit pants and the Moon-boots. The result: clothes are getting smarter.Smart clothing will both enhance its primary role as body covering and extend its functionality to keep us connected, entertained, relaxed, safe and healthy. Fabrics and designs with built in temperature control mechanisms will merge with invisible add-ons like mobile phones and MP3 players, sophisticated medical monitoring systems integrated into shirts will save lives and clothes may even provide us with our daily vitamin supplement.  Read More

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