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Smart Clothes. The Future of Wearables

Smart Clothes
The Future of Wearables
By Fanny Bates

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鐩墠宸茬粡鍑虹幇鐨勬櫤鑳借。鐗╂湁OMsignal鐨勮繍鍔ㄨ~銆丄thos鏅鸿兘鏈嶃乀he Ministry of Supply鐨勬櫤鑳藉す鍏嬨侽Msignal鐨勮。鏈嶅湪鑳搁儴鏈変竴鍦堢幆甯︼紝鍙皢鐢典俊鍙蜂紶閫佸埌绮樺湪琛f湇涓娿佽OMsignal绉颁负鈥滈粦鐩掑瓙鈥濈殑纭欢涓傞粦鐩掑瓙閫氳繃钃濈墮涓庢墜鏈虹浉杩烇紝鍙褰曚汉浣撹繍鍔ㄣ傜敱浜庣幆甯﹀寘鍥翠簡鏁翠釜鑳歌厰锛屽畠杩樺彲浠ヨ褰曞績鐜囧強鍛煎惛鏃惰兏鑵旀墿寮犱笌鏀剁缉鐨勬ā寮忥紝杩欒OMsignal鍙祴閲忓叾浠栧彲绌挎埓璁惧鏃犳硶娴嬮噺鐨勯澶栦俊鎭傜敱浜庤繖浜涙暟鎹兘鏄洿鎺ュ鑳歌厰杩涜娴嬮噺鑰屽緱鏉ワ紝瀹冧滑姣斾粠鎵嬭厱鎴栧叾浠栭儴浣嶅緱鏉ョ殑鏁版嵁鏇村姞鍑嗙‘锛屾洿灏戝彈鍒板共鎵般侫thos寮鍙戠殑杩愬姩绱ц韩鏈嶉噰鐢ㄤ簡鍖诲棰嗗煙鐨勮倢鐢靛浘鎶鏈紝灏嗕紶鎰熷櫒宓屽叆鍒版湇瑁呴潰鏂欎腑锛屼粠鑰屽府鍔╃敤鎴疯幏寰楁洿鍏烽拡瀵规х殑鍋ヨ韩杩愬姩鏁堟灉銆傜敱浜庝紶鎰熷櫒瑕嗙洊鍗佸垎骞挎硾锛孉thos鍙互鐩戞祴鍒板績鐜囥佹墜鑷傚強鑵块儴鑲岃倝褰㈡侊紝骞朵紶杈撹嚦鏅鸿兘鎵嬫満搴旂敤涓婏紝璁╃敤鎴蜂簡瑙e埌鍋ヨ韩璁粌寮哄害銆佹晥鏋溿傚彟澶栵紝Athos鍙互闅忔剰姘存礂銆佺儤骞诧紝灏卞儚鏅氳。鏈嶄竴鏍峰彲浠ラ噸澶嶄娇鐢ㄣ

 

鎬婚儴璁惧湪娉㈡柉椤跨殑浼戦棽鍝佺墝 Ministry of Supply鎺ㄥ嚭浜嗕竴娆惧姞鐑す鍏嬶紝鍙牴鎹敤鎴风殑鍠滃ソ璋冭妭鍏舵俯搴︼紝骞朵笖杩樻湁涓浜涘叾浠栨柟渚跨殑鍔熻兘銆傞殢鐫绉戞妧鐨勫彂灞曪紝鏅鸿兘绾虹粐涓庢櫤鑳借。鐗╁繀灏嗕负鎴戜滑甯︽潵鏇村渚垮埄銆

 

Smart clothes are also known as electronic textiles, smart fabrics or garments and are types of materials that enable digital components such as batteries, light and computer features to be embedded in them. Although the idea of smart clothing was coined several years ago, little has come of it until recently. Successful companies such as Samsung, Google, and Under Armour have begun with prototype tests of how to make clothes as smart as the phones in our pockets. Special attention was dedicated to fitness-focused fabrics and most of the smart clothes have followed this trend with incredible accurate fitness metrics and health analysis. Pailes-Friedman of the Pratt Institute states that "what makes smart fabrics revolutionary is that they have the ability to do many things that traditional fabrics cannot, including communicate, transform, conduct energy and even grow.鈥

 

E-textiles

E-textiles are designed to be comfortable and fully functional at the same time. They are made out of traditional fabrics but are woven with conductive fibers and electronic elements. These elements include some biomedical sensors used for gym clothes, microcontrollers, and fiber antennas. The related field is fibretronics, which explores how these electronic elements and computer functionality are integrated into these traditional fibers.

 

The Cientifica Research has presented a new report examining the markets for these wearable technologies, the companies which are currently producing them and the applicable technologies. They have identified three generations of smart wearable technologies:

 

1. "First generation" has a sensor to apparel. This idea is currently used by sportswear brands such as Adidas, Nike and Under Armour;

Tp 201809 Future 032. "Second generation" wearables have the sensor embedded in the garment, as is the case with current products from Samsung, Alphabet, Ralph Lauren, and Flex;

Tp 201809 Future 023. In "third generation" products, the garment represents the actual sensor. A growing number of companies have recently been creating pressure and temperature sensors for this purpose.

Tp 201809 Future 04The new technology is going towards making a new type of sewing machine that embroiders thread into fabric via a computer program. Instead of the conventional thread, the manufacturers would use metallic fibers such as silver, nickel, copper, aluminum and stainless steel. Depending on the quality of fabric, thread, and electronics which are used for this purpose, the end-products will be durable and can be washed just like regular clothing. Future applications of these textiles will include well-being products, sportswear and medical clothing for patient monitoring. Most companies are working toward mass commercialization of smart textiles as an important step for healthcare.

 

Taking wearables into the market

OMSignal鈥檚 co-founder and CEO Stephane Marceau made an official announcement stating that the company has launched a series of smart sports shirts for men and recently a smart sports bra for women. These products can track steps, distance, calorie burned as well as some unique measurements first introduced by this company. These measurements include fatigue level, breathing, and strength which body is putting into the workout. The next big step includes measuring the person鈥檚 heart rate, and muscle tension, thus working on improving your mental and physical well-being. The data is recorded in a small black box which needs to be connected to a smart device like a USB. Once connected, the person enters his/her physical characteristics such as weight, height, etc. The company also hopes to enter the medical market, so that people with heart conditions or other medical issues could be warned before an emergency strikes.

Tp 201809 Future 05

OMsignal Bra

 

Athos, a California- based company has launched new smart clothing package which had previously been reserved only for elite athletes. Now, they are available for common people who can wear high-quality compression shorts, shirt, and other embedded textiles. They consist of total 20 EMG sensors, 8 in the shorts and 12 in the shirts, including breathing and heart rate sensors. These products are measuring person鈥檚 heart rate, breathing rate, exercise form, balance, muscle tension and burned calories. What makes these products unique is Athos gear which collects and evaluates electrical activity produced by various body muscles and the feature 鈥楲ive View鈥 enables the person to view the stats on the mobile device in real-time. This smart form product gives an in-depth analysis of body parameters which can also prevent possible injuries or medical conditions.

Tp 201809 Future 06

The Ministry of Supply, a Boston-based start-up company, has designed the most advanced self-healing smart jacket which is able to respond to changes in temperature of the environment. It can read outside temperature and provide the right amount of heat in any environment. This jacket is made of three carbon fiber pads functioning through the process called resistive heating. The microcontroller processes the temperature gained through external thermometer and motion signals to send enough power to heating pads. Unlike other self-heatable jackets, this product is able to constantly adapt and optimize the temperature creating an individual 鈥渕icroclimate鈥. It utilizes Amazon鈥檚 smart assistant Alexa to be able to provide the voice control function, allowing users to heat the jacket even before it鈥檚 put on.Tp 201809 Future 07

Self-heating smart jacket responds to changes in temperature

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