Saturday, July 5, 2003

Interactive textiles

Newsweek reports on wearing wires - and the work of Sundaresan Jayaraman, an engineer at the Georgia Institute of Technology’s School of Textile and Fiber Engineering.

Just don’t call Jayaraman’s invention an e-textile. “E-textiles are so passive and passe,” he says. The future, he says, belongs to i-textiles—”i” for interactive. Jayaraman wants his computerized clothes to communicate with other separately wired apparel to form a more efficient network. The theory is that each fabric shouldn’t try to be all things to all people; rather, it should work like a personal computer’s motherboard—a printed circuit board that contains only those things fundamental to the machine’s operation, such as the power supply, the central processing unit and a bit of memory ... The technology’s toughest test will come from the consumer market, where the rule of fashion is unforgiving. “The user shouldn’t know when he’s wearing an electronic textile,” says Jayaraman, and the wearer shouldn’t have to be a “rocket scientist” to use it. To achieve such blissful invisibility, each garment will at first handle only a few functions.

Electronic textiles. Interactive fabrics. Intelligent fibres. On intimate technologies and emerging textiles.

[via smartmobs]

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