Smart clothing will change the way we dress

Textile Today Technical Team,     info@textiletoday.com.bd 
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Textile Today has been covering innovations happening in the field of smart clothing. Microchips installed in yarn and fabric is going change the lifestyle in coming days. From different technology providing companies to Levi’s many brands are investing in producing a functional range of clothing using smart textiles using during digital technologies. Chemical applications are being used to generate electronics and digital functionalities. Here comes two major developments happened recently.

Luminous clothing for fashion & function [1]

Frei formbare elektronische Systeme eröffnen neue Möglichkeiten der Gestaltung für Modeartikel, Automobile, Gebäude sowie in der Unterhaltungselektronik, um nur ein paar Beispiele zu nennen. Auf der K 2016 zeigt Covestro ein leuchtendes Kleid, bei dem die LEDs statt auf einer Platine auf formbaren Folien aus thermoplastischem Polyurethan (TPU) sitzen. -------------- Freely formable electronic systems open up new possibilities for the design of fashion items, automobiles, buildings, as well as in consumer electronics, to mention only a few examples. Covestro will be showcasing an item of luminous clothing. The LEDs are positioned not on a panel, but on formable films made from thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU).
Figure 1: A model wearing luminous dress. (Photo source: http://press.covestro.com)

Covestro a world leading manufacturer of high tech polymer materials recently developed luminous clothing technology. They are going to unveil it in upcoming K 2016 exhibition. The innovation is that they have put light emitting diodes (LEDs) on a piece of soft fabric apart from the regular application on circuit panel or strip. LEDs make it truly stand out which can perform key functions such as protecting pedestrians and cyclists against accidents.

They have developed an interesting electric system that is responsive to movements without losing its functionality. The technology is based on a flexible and formable film made of thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU). The TPU is the substrate for the printed copper circuits, which are arranged in a meandering pattern and can thus also be bent and stretched.

This technology comes up with extremely wide range of options for smart textiles alone. Besides fashion items such as the luminous dress, freely formable electronic systems are already in use in underwear, where they monitor heart rate and breathing. They assist patients with therapy and help athletes monitor their training.

Smart circuits are manufactured using an efficient, multi-stage process. At first, copper films are laminated onto the polyurethane films. The printed circuits are produced in a subsequent structuring operation featuring highly effective adhesion. The coated films are then shaped as required using conventional thermo forming.

Figure 2: Luminous fabric (source: press.covestro.com)
Figure 2: Luminous fabric (source: press.covestro.com)

In consumer electronics, smart circuits are supporting the trend toward increased miniaturization of components, as they can be incorporated directly into the outer shell of products. Stretchable circuit board (SCB) technology for manufacturing stretchable electronic circuits was developed earlier as part of the European STELLA project. Coated TPU films can be stretched repeatedly up to 60 percent, and on a one-time basis by as much as 300 percent.

Smart upper body garment connects with fitness app [2]

Wearable smart devices have already disrupted the technology market, specially changing the way people work out. It’s amazing when mobile app shows you different body parameters like heart bit rate, calorie burning rate, foot contact etc. real-time while you are on a morning run.

Sensoria, a leading manufacturer of wearable fitness and smart garment technology has unveiled its new line of sports bras and t-shirts functioning with a new version of Sensoria Fitness v2.0 app.

The new app features a cardiologist created and tested algorithm called Heart Sentinel, which connects to heart rate monitoring (HRM) garments and detects certain cardiac irregularities that often precede catastrophic events.

Figure 3: Smart clothing provides effective and safe exercise (source: sensoriafitness.com)
Figure 3: Smart clothing provides effective and safe exercise (source: sensoriafitness.com)

These newly designed workout outfit targets to meet the needs of all levels of fitness enthusiasts by including a new medium support sports bra for women and a new short sleeve t-shirt for men.

Each new garment can be used with Sensoria’s Bluetooth HRM module and the Sensoria Fitness app for iOS and Android, as well as other HRM devices such as Polar H7 or Garmin Premium and other fitness apps, such as Strava, Endomondo, PolarBeat or MapMyRun

The mobile app monitors athlete’s foot landing, contact time on the ground and cadence, and tracks other familiar parameters. Connect the app with heart rate monitors (HRMs) that communicates through Bluetooth Smart to also monitor heart rate. The app also allows to tailor goals and track the progress of daily workout.

References:

  1. http://press.covestro.com
  2. http://sensoriafitness.com

 

 

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