Researchers at École Polytechnique de Montreal have been working on what they call “smart textiles” or “E-textiles”, capable of energy storage and sensing applications.
The idea is to blend useful technology with modern textile methods, creating next generation materials. Imagine answering your phone just by touching a spot on your jacket, which also contains the audio and a microphone in the hood?
Bikers could have signals built right into their jackets, invisible until turned on. Your clothing could monitor your fitness and health, charge your devices, even have a computer built right in. There are any number of interesting and futuristic applications that could come of this research.
Maksim Skorobogatiy, who heads the photonics group responsible for creating these materials, sees a bright future for this technology, “We don't want humans to be aware of what they are wearing. It has to be self-contained piece that can charge itself, store energy and perform useful functions. Otherwise, it's an extra burden that nobody needs in our lives.”