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Smart Clothes—The Unfulfilled Pledge?
April-June 2011 (vol. 10 no. 2)
pp. 87-89

Inspired by Mark Weiser's 1991 prediction about computers for the 21st century, "they weave themselves into the fabric of everyday life until they are indistinguishable from it," researchers from the MIT Media Lab and Georgia Tech launched the first "e-textiles" in the mid-1990s. Many labels have been created since then—textile motherboard, wearable intelligence, communication textiles, functional and intelligent clothing, e-broidery, sensate liner, and SFIT (Smart Fabrics, Interactive Textile). All of these names suggest a synergy between information and communications technology (ICT) and textiles by using sensing, actuating, communication, and computing facilities to augment the protective and appealing features of textiles. However, despite the efforts and international engagement of the last 10 years, the market penetration of smart textile products remains marginal. Only a few high-volume products assert themselves on the wearable market (for example, chest straps with textile electrodes to measure heart rate during exercise).

1. C. Zysset et al., "Weaving Integrated Circuits into Textiles," Proc. Int'l Symp. Wearable Computers (ISWC), IEEE CS Press, 2010, p. 1–8.

Index Terms:
smart fabrics, communication textiles, wearable computing, sensors, interactive textiles
Citation:
Gerhard Tröster, "Smart Clothes—The Unfulfilled Pledge?," IEEE Pervasive Computing, vol. 10, no. 2, pp. 87-89, April-June 2011, doi:10.1109/MPRV.2011.32
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