Your Jeans as a Cell Phone? It's Coming

Get ready.  It's coming.  Computers in your clothes.

According to newswise.com, Ohio State University researchers have been able to embroider circuits into fabric with 0.1 mm precision—the perfect size to integrate electronic components such as sensors and computer memory devices into clothing.

With this advance, the researchers have taken the next step toward the design of functional textiles—clothes that gather, store, or transmit digital information. With further development, the technology could lead to shirts that act as antennas for your smart phone or tablet, workout clothes that monitor your fitness level, sports equipment that monitors athletes’ performance, a bandage that tells your doctor how well the tissue beneath it is healing—or even a flexible fabric cap that senses activity in the brain.

Sound scary?  It does to, to me.

 "A revolution is happening in the textile industry,” says John Volakis, director of the ElectroScience Laboratory at Ohio State, who is also the Roy & Lois Chope Chair Professor of Electrical Engineering at Ohio State. “We believe that functional textiles are an enabling technology for communications and sensing—and one day even medical applications like imaging and health monitoring.”
 
In Volakis’ lab, the functional textiles, also called “e-textiles,” are created in part on a typical tabletop sewing machine—the kind that fabric artisans and hobbyists might have at home. Like other modern sewing machines, it embroiders thread into fabric automatically based on a pattern loaded via a computer file. The researchers substitute the thread with fine silver metal wires that, once embroidered, feel the same as traditional thread to the touch.

“We started with a technology that is very well known—machine embroidery—and we asked, how can we functionalize embroidered shapes? How do we make them transmit signals at useful frequencies, like for cell phones or health sensors?” Volakis said. “Now, for the first time, we’ve achieved the accuracy of printed metal circuit boards, so our new goal is to take advantage of the precision to incorporate receivers and other electronic components.”

The shape of the embroidery determines the frequency of operation of the antenna or circuit, he explained.

The shape of one broadband antenna, for instance, consists of more than half a dozen interlocking geometric shapes, each a little bigger than a fingernail, that form an intricate circle a few inches across, the web site reports. Each piece of the circle transmits energy at a different frequency, so that they cover a broad spectrum of energies when working together—hence the “broadband” capability of the antenna for cell phone and internet access.

I don't know about you but there are too many  computers (and cameras) around for my liking.  No thanks to having them in my clothes, too.  







Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Who does Donald Trump Really Hate? Himself.

How Cancer Taught Me Gratefulness

Want More Self-Control? It May Zap Your Confidence