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Friday, November 29, 2013

Smart Textiles

In ComputingNow:  A topic we explored, being a garment care industry, but have not heard much about recently:

" ... Current technology supports only special-purpose, low-volume textiles, garments, and electronics. Moreover, the textile, electronic, and software industries have different product cycles, cultures, and price models, creating scores of practical problems for smart textiles. Mass producing smart cloth will require decoupling the textile production from concrete sensing apps and moving the complexity to generic electronics and software—creating wearable sensing as an app.

As with many new technologies, smart clothing and textile electronics currently suffer from the chicken-and-egg problem—that is, for the devices to be widely deployed, the price must come down, but for the price to come down, the devices must be mass-produced (widely deployed). A core issue is that there's still no killer app for smart textiles that lets developers produce numerous identical (from the sensing viewpoint) garments. Instead, there are many potential apps with different sensing requirements. ... " 

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