Thispaper provides a review of recent developments in the rapidly changing andadvancing field of smart fabric sensor and electronic textile technologies. Itsummarizes the basic principles and approaches employed when building fabricsensors as well as the most commonly used materials and techniques used inelectronic textiles. The current workdemonstrates that fabric sensors can be tailored to measure force, pressure,chemicals, humidity and temperature variations. Materials, connectors, fabriccircuits, interconnects, encapsulation and fabrication methods associated withfabric technologies prove to be customizable and versatile but less robust thantheir conventional electronics counterparts.
The findings of this surveysuggest that a complete smart fabric system is possible through the integrationof the different types of textile based functional elements. This work intendsto be a starting point for standardization of smart fabric sensing techniquesand e-textile fabrication methods.The vision behind wearable computing foresees future electronic systems to bean integral part of our everyday outfits.
Such electronic devices have to meetspecial requirements concerning wearability. Wearable systems will becharacterized by their ability to automatically recognize the activity and thebehavioral status of their own user as well as of the situation around her/him,and to use this information to adjust the systems’ configuration andfunctionality. This review focuses on recent advances in the field of SmartTextiles and pays particular attention to the materials and their manufacturingprocess.
Each technique shows advantages and disadvantages and our aim is tohighlight a possible trade-off between flexibility, ergonomics, low powerconsumption, integration and eventually autonomy.DEFINITION: Electronic textiles(e-textiles) are fabrics that have electronics and interconnections woven intothem, with physical flexibility and size that cannot be achieved with existingelectronic manufacturing techniques. Components and interconnections areintrinsic to the fabric and thus are less visible and not susceptible tobecoming tangled together or snagged by the surroundings. An e-textile can beworn in everyday situations where currently available wearable computers wouldhinder the user.
E-textiles can also more easily adapt to changes in thecomputational and sensing requirements of an application, a useful feature forpower management and context awareness.INTRODUCTION: Electronictextiles (e- textiles) are the textile fabrics with electronics andinterconnections woven in their structure. They possess the physicalflexibility and size not known in conventional electronics. Components and interconnectionsare intrinsic to the fabric structure with reduced chance to be seen, tangledtogether or snagged by the surroundings. Thinking for electronics that can bedraped over a vehicle or a tank is achievable using textile fabrics. The use of fabric as station todeploy electrical components results in wearable electrical/ computing devices.The relative position of components including sensors, actuators, processingelements can be altered.
The design process of an e- textile should appreciate the complexity, cost, andeffectiveness of system. This process must be based on a set of percept derivedfrom the experience and developing concepts. Software/ hardware architecture ofan e- textile using defined percept would facilitate the future research, andproduce applicable models. Computing elements, sensors, and actuators can beseamlessly configured in known textile products such as shirts, hats,parachutes, and blankets.
Sophisticated fibre technology is introducing newfibres that may function as batteries, durable wires, and speakers. The currentresearch and innovation in e- textiles is addressing the matters in computingthe infrastructure, and examining the applications. Electronics and computer peripherals are now start coming in market and astream of electronic items is expected to emerge that are soft, compact,flexible and portable.
There are two areas where textiles and electronics aretaking the directions. First the smart textile interface fabrics are addingvalue in electronics. In the other area, electronics are enhancing thefunctional textiles; for example the sensor and communication technology areused in protective wear, out door sports, children wear, and medicalapplications.WEARABLE COMPUTING:Elector technology can be used bythe product designers to produce control for electronic devices that are soft,light weight, flexible, washable, and wearable. Its applications range fromwearable electronic control for consumer electronics and industrial wear tolight- weight, low- power touch interfaces for telemetric, military,transportation, and space suits. It may replace the hard touch pads, flexi-circuits, and polymer switches which do not find wider uses in growing demandof wearable electronics.The sensor woven/ embedded in the sleeves of jackets or straps of rucksacksprovides easy- to- wear control for mobile phones, headphones, or microphones.
Elek Tex may also provide electronic accessories including in- built speaker orvolume controlPerformance of material creates application, and application brings thebusiness. This seems happening when Microsoft Corporation selected Eleksen, UKbased manufacturer of smart fabric interfaces, to design and manufacture theperipherals for the Ultra- Mobile PCs. The business interest in the innovative ‘smart fabric’ developed by Eleksen forelectronic devices has been realised, and private equity investors have made aninvestment of 4 million. The fund will be used to support expansion and workingcapital to meet the desired sales growth. The range of applications for theinnovative Eleksen technology is significant and the funding would hopefullymake a difference in its market.
The diversity in the application of electronic textiles (e- textiles) isincreasing and becoming interesting. The textile clothes, being light- weight,strong and bendable, can be stretched over any frame into desired shape.Electronic wires and sensors woven into fabric can perform the function oflistening faint sound. That means people resting in tents or camouflage net mayhear the distant sounds of vehicles or steeping/ movement of people, animals,enemies etc. Thinking for a jacket or hat that can alert the wearer whensomeone (friend or enemy!) is coming from the back; or having night wears thatwakes you up when fire approaching wouldn’t be impossible using e- textiles. The sensors and associated connecting wires generate pattern of informationthat can be translated by computer software into images which enable the userto determine the location of detected sounds.
There are e- textiles systemsthat do not produce detectable energy and require less power then radio- wave-operated systems. Sound detection is only one application of e- textile system, fabric may bewoven with sensors that can detect chemicals, materials, and satellite signalsetc. The interest and investment in research and innovation are introducingmore types of such smart- applications. The increasing exploration in the performance of smart textiles will continueto grow, and the interdisciplinary applications will be gaining more interestfor innovation and development.
Optimistically the future is bright for e- textiles. WERABLECOMPUTING APPLICATIONS:MilitaryHealthcareAcademicAgricultureEntertainmentConsumerFinanceAthleticsRetailSportswear: calculating heart beat and blood pressure. MEDICAL ASPECTS:QUELL RELIEF:The product here by Quell Relief is one of the new healthcare wearable’sand smart technology who really take functionality to the utmost.
Not only isthis knee brace type device engineered to give you the stability that youexpect out of a brace but it is also embedded with the market required sensorsthat allow for smart keeping of information that can be accessed through acompanion app. This product likes to pride itself on being able to give theperson the optimal relief when it comes to a knee brace. SMART STOP BYCHRONO THERAPEUTICS :Smart Stop by ChronoTherapeutics is a smart device that is aimed at helping people to stop smoking.The Smart Stop is embedded with sensors that will sense changes in the body andput into motion algorithms that sense that a person is craving for a cigaretteand nicotine.. The Smart Stop has a companion app that gives person information aboutquitting and coaching them in being able to stop their harmful habit.
Thiswearable device will certainly be another one of those game changers in thecoming years. GOOGLESMART CONTACT LENSES:Google has been able to seeitself in just about every other part of technology these days so why not thesmart wearables for healthcare market. Google has been able to have smartcontact lenses that are made for people who suffer from diabetes and those whosimply wear glasses. Google has partnered with the Swiss based pharmaceuticalcompany in Novartis here.The technology is engineered to take thetears in a person’s eye and measure the glucose levels that are present. Forpeople who wear glasses, the lens would be engineered to what the companies sayis ‘to restore the eye’s natural autofocus’. This product has been around andgetting the ending fine tunes in development over the past couple of months so2015 could see this product becoming more widely used and more aware toconsumers and the public.
CONCLUSION: Textiles represent anattractive class of substrates for realizing wearable bio-sensors. Electronictextiles, or smart textiles, describe the convergence of electronics andtextiles into fabrics which are able to sense, compute, communicate andactuate. The vision of wearable computingdescribes future electronic systems as an integral part of our everydayclothing serving as intelligent personal assistants.
Therefore, such wearablesensors must maintain their sensing capabilities under the demands of normalwear, which can impose severe mechanical deformation of the underlyinggarment/substrate.