Energy harvesting smart fabrics

June 24th, 2024

The global energy harvesting market is expected to reach $0.9 billion by 2028 according to a Markets and Markets report published in 2023. Image: Markets and Markets. Energy harvesting accounts for the largest market share of the global smart textiles market by functionality, according to a recent report by Impactful Insights. The report puts the value […]

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Machine learning used to create a fabric touch sensor

May 13th, 2024

A new study from NC State University combines three-dimensional embroidery techniques with machine learning to create a fabric-based sensor that can control electronic devices through touch. Integrated into the fabric of a piece of clothing, the sensor can activate and control electronic devices, such as mobile apps, entirely by touch. The device is made up of […]

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Liquid electronics: It’s not an oxymoron

March 25th, 2024

The words “liquid” and “electronics” are not, in general, words you want to see together. I have pictures in my head of warnings having to do with using an electric hair dryer in the bathtub. That may get a laugh today, but who among us can explain how wearables crafted from e-textiles can be safe […]

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Tackling the tough challenges in e-textiles 

March 25th, 2024

A textile sensor patch with a self-sufficient energy supply developed by the Technische Universitat Dresden. Photo: Marie O’Mahony. Can printed electronics (PE) and flexible hybrid electronics (FHE) offer e-textiles direction that overcomes the design, manufacturing and sustainability challenges facing the industry?  The annual conference and trade show LOPEC (Large-area, Organic & Printed Electronics Convention) was recently […]

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Shirt helps deaf and hard-of-hearing people enjoy opera 

December 11th, 2023

The Lyric Opera of Chicago now offers the SoundShirt by wearables designer CuteCircuit for its deaf and hard-of-hearing patrons to better experience opera. Photo: CuteCircuit. Opera is everything all at once: music and drama, poetry and dance, grandeur and intimacy, spectacle and sound. But for audience members who are deaf or hard of hearing, or […]

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Collaborations benefit warfighters—and consumers

September 11th, 2023

Lumiton has developed and patented sustainable, synthetic, Light-Smart™ clothing that harnesses sunlight and emits red and near-infrared light. Photo: Lumiton. The North Carolina Defense Manufacturing Community Support Program (NC DMCSP), which is administered by NC State University Industry Expansion Solutions, is disrupting the performance and functionality that once defined the traditional textile industry. With more than 40 […]

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Thread-like pumps can be woven into clothes

June 26th, 2023

Photo: Soft Transducers Laboratory, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL). Many fluid-based wearable assistive technologies today require a large and noisy pump that is impractical, if not impossible, to integrate into clothing, so wearable devices are routinely tethered to unwearable pumps. But researchers at the Soft Transducers Laboratory (LMTS) in the School of Engineering, École […]

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New polymers could enable better wearable devices

April 24th, 2023

MIT researchers developed a chemistry-based strategy to create organic iono-electronic polymers that “learn” and could improve electronic devices that interface directly with the human body. This illustration shows the proposed morphology of the polymer. Image: provided by the researchers. Certain electronics that integrate with the human body—a smartwatch that samples your sweat, for instance—work by […]

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Solar-powered jacket needs no battery

January 23rd, 2023

In a program called “The Wardrobe of the Future,” students at Finland’s Aalto University are experimenting with the development of wearable technologies and other innovations that may define what we may choose to wear someday.  A new sun-powered jacket has hidden solar cells underneath the textile layer and is capable of powering wearable devices without any […]

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Embroidering power-generating yarn for wearables 

December 12th, 2022

Yu Chen, graduate student at NC State, demonstrates embroidery techniques. Photo: NC State. Embroidering power-generating yarns onto fabric potentially offers a low-cost, scalable method for making wearable devices according to researchers at North Carolina State University (NC State). Using the technique has made it possible to embed a self-powered, numerical touch pad and movement sensors […]

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