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The regular clothing that we use today has the power that remains explored to become wearable electronics of tomorrow, claim the researchers. A lab in Canada has tested the special fibers that help in making soft, battery woven and flexible touchscreens in the fabric.
Converting the rigid electronic parts to stretchy and smart clothing material is not an easy task. If this comes in to existence, we can simply swipe a finger across the upholstery of car to turn down the heat or to adjust the music player's volume. These are experiences that can blend the gadget functionalities into soft objects.
The scientists say that they don't want the people to know that they are wearing such devices. The device must be self contained and capable of charging itself, storing energy and also performing useful functions. If this is not the case, then they become extra burden that we will not like to have.
The technologies that can help make soft versions of the gadget parts like batteries, transistors and touchscreens will lead to the smart clothing that can monitor the health signs of a person and also act as wearable computers.
Some labs have embedded the tiny nano particles to normal cotton threads enabling them to conduct electricity. But they have issues with making the material long lasting and also in finding chemicals that can bind the particles to the cotton.
The Skorobogatify lab has created a manufacturing process to create the optical fibers that will carry the internet and TV signals. They made new polymer based fibers to conduct the electrical signals. These fibers were than woven to experimental touchpads to show partial multitouch capability that is similar to one showed by smartphones and tablets.
They also made thin battery sheets by joining thermoplastic binding material and lithium battery material and then cut the battery sheets to thin strips and then wove them with clothing. The technology of the smart clothing is quite close at hand but the manufacturers are hesitating to work with all new fibers. The researchers are trying to offer fibers for the designers to work on this.