Our current idea of a wearable tends to be things like smartwatches, fitness trackers, maybe AR glasses like Google Glass. The thing is, with the exception of some smart-shoes, they’re just things we clip onto ourselves rather than actually wear. Well new clothes developed in Hong Kong could well turn the clothes you wear into your own machine-washable wearable technology.
It’s very simple, rather than just being woven with cotton, or whatever your fabric of choice is, these clothes are woven with circuit board thread. They look and feel like ordinary clothes, but they’re capable of carrying a current and communicating thusly. But that’s not all, they’re also incredible durable and can be stretched up to 20 per cent one million times before they start to fail and fall apart. If that doesn’t impress you, they wove some of the material under a kevlar vest and proceeded to shoot it. The fabric not only survived, but it also was still able to communicate with no adverse effects.
A shirt that can track your fitness would be brilliant and everything, but imagine a shirt that could detect and communicate that the wearer had been shot and was injured. That could be some ground-breaking kit for police and soldiers alike. [New Scientist via Gizmodo UK]