DailyDirt: Wearables That Actually Do Stuff
from the urls-we-dig-up dept
Lately, it seems like a variety of gadgets are vying to be worn — smartwatches, smartglasses, and a bunch of other trinkets that claim to be smart and try to be accessories to your accessories. Before this new wearables trend, textile researchers have been (and still are) working on embedding various functions directly into clothing. The trick is making clothing that can do other stuff without taking away any features of traditional clothing — like being able to machine wash and dry them. Here are just a few links on smart textiles that might make for better wearable items.
- Nanotechnology clothing promised a lot of nifty capabilities, and this project is making good on creating a super-insulating fabric that can reflect about 90% of a person’s body heat back to the wearer. Sure, you could wear a mylar suit to get the same effect, but this fabric won’t trap all your sweat like wearing a plastic bag. This fabric is coated in silver nanowire (AgNW) that is durable in a washing machine, and hopefully we’ll figure out how to make it into clothing that doesn’t look like a Starfleet uniform. [url]
- Smart socks! Yes, socks with sensors in them that connect to an app on your phone to tell you if your foot is hitting the pavement in a way that might lead to injury. This sounds pretty targeted to dedicated runners, but it’s nice to see a smart wearable that isn’t so obvious when worn. [url]
- Fabrics knitted with conductive fibers are becoming more practical and durable — and bulletproof? Bulletproof vests with fabric circuit boards are just one possible application for textiles with embedded electronics. (There are also Wimbledon ball boys/girls wearing smartshirts already.) [url]
If you’d like to read more awesome and interesting stuff, check out this unrelated (but not entirely random!) Techdirt post via StumbleUpon.