Researchers have succeeded in creating new electronic circuits made from silk that can be sewn onto fabrics to transform them into connected clothing. They are flexible, washable and powered by Wi-Fi.
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With most connected clothes, electronic components are uncomfortable and often poorly integrated. They are rigid, accompanied by a heavy battery, and cannot be washed or must be disassembled beforehand. Researchers from purdue university in the United States have just developed a new generation of connected clothing devoid of all these faults.
In an article published in the journal Nano Energy, scientists describe their new electronic textile. Made from silk and carbon nanotubes, and sewn onto any fabric, the circuits are flexible and stretchy. They are therefore much more comfortable to wear. However, the main advance is the elimination drums using “silk-based omniphobic coils” (OSC).
A fabric powered by Wi-Fi waves
These OSCs are simple spirals that feed the circuit by resonance magnetic, collectingenergy from radio waves or Wi-Fi present in the environment. This simplifies the integration of the circuit into clothing by eliminating the battery. Finally, this technology is omniphobic, that is to say that a substance diffused with a spray makes them resistant to water, oil and mud. The clothes are almost impossible to stain and can be washed in the washing machine.
The researchers have thus created a glove whose finger lights up when you approach a powered electric cable. In the same way, it would be possible to integrate other sensors, for example for the movement or heart rate. Our clothes would thus be able to monitor our health and communicate the data to our smartphone for analysis. The simplicity of this solution will make it possible to manufacture connected clothes in conventional sewing workshops. They could therefore quickly be produced on a large scale.
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