The Journal Gazette
Saturday, June 12, 2021 1:00 am

Wired wear: Clothes help in tracking body rhythms

Purdue University researchers have created a smarter way to dress.

No, they're not suggesting a new suit or little black dress.

Engineers with the university's Research Foundation Office of Technology Commercialization have instead sewn miniaturized electronic circuits and sensors into traditional fabrics. The clothing is as wearable and washable as your regular clothes, they say, and can be paired with your phone, computer, car or other machines.

The possibilities are endless. Researchers say the cloth-based circuitry could be used to keep you safe, check your health status and call for help if you're in trouble.

Examples include a glove with fingertips that light up when the wearer is close to an electric cable, lessening the chance of shock. A heart-monitoring system could be sewn into a sweatband to keep tabs on the wearer's cardiac rhythm.

“I envision smart clothes will be able to transmit information about the posture and motion of the wearer to mobile apps, allowing machines to understand human intent without the need of other interfaces, expanding the way we communicate, interact with devices and play video games,” Ramses Martinez, a Purdue assistant engineering professor, said in a statement.

The work is highlighted in the May 25 edition of the journal Nano Energy.

We are living in the future

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