The future has already come and many varieties of smart tissues have been developed, but have not yet become routine everyday. A little time will pass, and you will be able to put on a suit that will evaluate the environmental parameters and create a comfortable temperature for you. People with chronic diseases will wear medical clothing, stuffed with sensors, which in time will give signals about high blood pressure or sugar level, will remind you of the procedures, and maybe even make an injection of insulin. Athletes are already taking advantage of similar developments: specially designed tissues for them regulate body temperature, reduce wind resistance, control muscle vibration, and at the same time collect training data.
Over the past decade, the textile industry has rushed to an unprecedented level thanks to new technologies. Smart and intelligent fabrics, electronic textiles or E-fabric appeared. To begin with, we will understand the terms, and then look at the application.
Smart textiles are fabrics that are developed using new materials and technologies and have additional options compared to traditional fabrics. The range of their capabilities is huge, including communication, transformation, energy transfer, dirt repulsion, etc. Smart textiles can be used both for aesthetic tasks and for protecting the human body, increasing its performance. Some fabrics are able to change color, glow, transform the pattern. Others record data on the state of the human body or environment.
According to the «Nauka» television channel, Intelligent Textiles not only collects information, but can also respond to external stimuli or environmental changes: temperature, pressure, magnetism, mechanical stress. For example, a thermochromic fabric will change color depending on temperature. An intelligent handbag accumulates sunlight during the day, and at night it can highlight its contents when the housewife needs to find something in the dark. Fabrics hardening upon impact will serve to protect athletes and the military, turning in an instant from comfortable clothing to strong armor.
Electronic textiles or E-fabrics are a type of smart and intelligent fabric that includes electronics. Sensors can be attached to clothing, as presented by the sports brands Adidas, Nike and Under Armor, and can be integrated into the garment, like Samsung, Alphabet, Ralph Lauren and Flex. But the most advanced option is when the clothing itself is a sensor, collecting information about pressure, deformation, temperature without built-in devices.
The most useful and necessary smart textiles in those areas where there is a risk to human life and health. Smart clothes can give a distress signal or warn about the fatigue of a pilot or trucker in time. Special sensors signal a chemist about dangerous doses of the substances with which he works. The military uniform will transmit to the command center information on the situation and condition of the soldiers in battle. A sick person will be able to find out about a critical condition in time and quickly take action or call an ambulance. This is similar to science fiction, but the described technologies already exist, which means that in the near future each of us will be able to get our own smart suit with the functionality we need.
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