Researchers develop smart fabric for wearables that senses body movement
Researchers at Kansai University and Teijin Limited have developed world’s first polyactic acid (PLA) fiber and carbon-fiber-based piezoelectric fabrics for wearable applications. The fabric was on display at the world’s first Wearable Expo organized by Reed Exhibitions Japan Ltd. And was held in Tokyo Big Sight, Japan. To be precise, the fabric will monitor the wearer’s movement in 3D and also generate piezoelectric current for similar applications.
This new fabric will come handy for Internet of Things (IoT) applications like robotics, sleep tracking, animation, elderly care, space exploration, performing surgery and much more. This revolutionary material is made from bioplastic treads that are just 0.02-millimeter thick, and they convert pressure from wearer’s body bending into electrical signals. All the data is retrieved using small wireless communication device attached to the clothing being worn by the wearer.
Currently the researchers have developed a shirt, socks and pillowcase from this material to accurately measure the movement of users wearing it. The material will be out there for practical use in the next two to three years and will aid new age wearables in extending their functionality a notch further.