Introduction Electronic Textiles: electronic textiles, are fabrics that can function electrically as electronics and behave physically as textiles which enable computing ,digital components and electronics to be embedded in them. Part of the development of wearable technology, they are referred to as intelligent clothing or smart clothing that allow for the incorporation of built‐in technological elements in everyday textiles and clothes.
History Early 1990s: MIT students started research on smart clothing for military use. Not wearable and very cumbersome to move around in. 1998: Beginning of the integration between fashion and technology – most notably by Levi and Phillips Electronics. 2001‐present: Started to integrate medical uses into clothing. ZOLL LifeVest® Life Shirt by Vivometrics
BENEFITS OF E TEXTILESElectronic textiles, or e‐textiles, are a new emerging inter disciplinary field of research, bringing together specialists in information technology, microsystems , materials, and textiles. E textiles offers the following advantages:– Flexible– No wires to snag environment– Large surface area for sensing– Invisible to others– Cheap manufacturingThe focus of this new area is on developing the enabling technologies and fabrication techniques for the economical manufacture of large‐area, flexible, conformable information systems that are expected to have unique applications for both the consumer electronics and aerospace/military industries. They are naturally of particular interest in wearable computing, where they provide lightweight, flexible computing resources that that are easily integrated or shaped into clothing.
Applications of E‐textilesThe future of specialized fabrics — E‐textiles can be used • To sense tank movements, • To monitor homes for noxious chemicals• Help firefighters maneuver in smoky buildings, and perhaps help stroke victims recover their function.• They can also be used in a smart home to detect the movement of people and adjust the lighting or sound systems.• For sensor network communications• Physical therapy • Act as batteries or chemical sensors Wearable electronicsMusic jacket
Current Technology ZOLL Life Vest Wearable defibrillator If heart palpitations or an alarming rhythm of the heart is detected, the vest gives a signal tothe patient. If the signal is not stopped by the patient, then thedefibrillator gives off the conducting gel, then sending a shock to the patient. Vivo Metrics Life Shirt Places ECG sensors on the body, which then the data is transmitted to the datarecorder, which is then transmitted to the doctor. Smart Shirt Developed by Georgia Institute of Technology T‐shirt with a fiber grid – data is then wirelessly transferred to a PDA with Bluetooth technology.
Georgia Tech Wearable Motherboard™:The Intelligent Garment for the 21st CenturyGeorgia Tech Wearable Motherboard™ (Smart Shirt) for Combat Casualty Care has led to the worlds first Wearable Motherboard™ or an "intelligent" garment for the 21st Century. The Georgia Tech Wearable Motherboard uses optical fibers to detect bullet wounds, and special sensors and interconnects to monitor the body vital signs during combat conditions.This Georgia Tech Wearable Motherboard (Smart Shirt) provides an extremely good sensing, monitoring and information processing devices
How to Use the Smart Shirt?To use this new technology, a combat soldier attaches sensors to his body, pulls the Smart Shirt on, and attaches the sensors to the Smart Shirt. The Smart Shirt functions like a motherboard, with plastic optical fibers and other specialty fibers woven throughout the actual fabric of the shirt. To pinpoint the exact location of a bullet penetration, a signal is sent from one end of the plastic optical fiber to a receiver at the other end. The emitter and the receiver are connected to a Personal Status Monitor (PSM) worn at hip‐level by the soldier. If the light from the emitter does not reach the receiver inside the PSM, it signifies that the Smart Shirt has been penetrated (i.e., the soldier has been shot)The soldiers vital signs‐heart rate, temperature, respiration rate, etc. are monitored in two ways: through the sensors integrated into the T‐shirt; and through the sensors on the soldiers body, both of which are connected to the PSM. Information on the wound and the soldiers condition is immediately transmitted electronically from the PSM to a medical triage unit somewhere near the battlefield.The Georgia Tech Smart Shirt can help a physician determine the extent of a soldiers injuries based on the strength of his heartbeat and respiratory rate. This information is vital for assessing who needs assistance first during the so‐called golden hour in which there are numerous casualties
Limitations of Current Technology Not waterproof Can it be worn in the water for continual use? Can it be worn in the rain? Cost Is it covered by insurance? If it is, are there additional costs that need to be covered? Calibrations Under FDA law, medical devices must go under calibration to pass government requirements.
Future Technology Weather proof and waterproof systems Possibly smart textiles that can be worn outside the comfort of the home. Wireless transmitters that can collect data even outside 4G (Bluetooth) areas. Smart Textiles for children Commercialization Automatic calibrations Data can be sent to doctor via smart phone application or tablet application The doctor can collect data in real time. Integration of other fabric materials that could help improve versatility Yarn, spandex material for exercise clothing
SUMMARY1. Electronic textiles or e‐textiles are a newly emerging interdisciplinary field of research which brings together specialists in information technology, microsystems, materials, and textiles. 2. The focus of this new area is on developing the enabling technologies and fabrication techniques for the economical manufacture of large‐area, flexible, conformable information systems which are expected to have unique applications for both consumer electronics and military industry3. E‐textiles will generate a significant body of research with deep implications in everydays life, consumer market and applications requiring remote sensing, processing and actuation (e.g. medical, space and military).