Smart Textile Revolutionizes Fashion: Shining and Speaking Garments

An international group of scientists from China and Singapore has presented a groundbreaking invention in the field of textile technology that could revolutionize the concept of functional clothing. The new type of fiber developed by experts is capable of converting visual signals into digital transmission without the use of microcircuits and batteries, interacting with the human body. This fiber paves the way for the creation of a new generation of clothes that can display colors, patterns, or messages without the need for traditional electronic devices.

The key focus of the study is the development of fiber with three layers: the core that creates an electromagnetic field, the dielectric layer that accumulates electromagnetic energy from the human body, and the layer responsible for visualizing the electric field. The fiber captures and utilizes electromagnetic energy from the environment, using the human body as a conduit.

Experiments with embedding such fibers into fabric demonstrated their ability to convert electromagnetic energy from the environment into radio waves and visible light. When in contact with the body, the fiber can emit signals that can be programmed to display specific messages. Researchers sewed the fibers into a T-shirt and successfully transmitted signals to a processor, which displayed messages on the fabric. Additionally, a fabric keyboard was developed to send messages by clicking on the wrist.

This innovation could lay the foundation for the future generation of smart clothing, enabling a new level of interaction between technology and the human body. Scientists envision applications beyond fashion and communication, with potential uses in health and fitness monitoring. The invention may assist in tracking health and physical activity.

In 2023, the IARPA American intelligence agency announced the commencement of a project to develop smart clothing with flexible electronics. The project aims to create stylish clothes capable of recording audio, video, and geolocation data.

/Reports, release notes, official announcements.