“Smart clothes” that can measure your movements

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In recent years there have been exciting breakthroughs in wearable technologies, like smartwatches that can monitor your breathing and blood oxygen levels.

But what about a wearable that can detect how you move as you do a physical activity or play a sport, and could potentially even offer feedback on how to improve your technique?

And, as a major bonus, what if the wearable were something you’d actually already be wearing, like a shirt of a pair of socks?

That’s the idea behind a new set of MIT-designed clothing that use special fibers to sense a person’s movement via touch. Among other things, the researchers showed that their clothes can actually determine things like if someone is sitting, walking, or doing particular poses.

The group from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL) says that their clothes could be used for athletic training and rehabilitation. With patients’ permission they could even help passively monitor the health of residents in assisted-care facilities and determine if, for example, someone has fallen or is unconscious.

The researchers have developed a range of prototypes, from socks and gloves to a full vest. The team’s “tactile electronics” use a mix of more typical textile fibers alongside a small amount of custom-made functional fibers that sense pressure from the person wearing the garment.

More: https://www.csail.mit.edu/news/smart-clothes-can-measure-your-movements

 

FiveWordsForTheFuture - May 2, 2021 | Body, Health, New Materials, Sensors, Wearables
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