Sensors that can be Woven in Textiles

Published Date : Jul 13, 2017

The internet of things is everywhere and so it makes sense if clothes are included too! It is hard to make electronics that can beat the folding, washing, bunching up, and being worn, yet several researchers are attempting to achieve the feat. The latest one to attempt is Harvard’s Wyss Institute. They have used a simple layering method, which is effective to make a flex sensor, which is customizable and durable. It comprises a material sandwich with a filling of silicone below and layers of conductive fabric above. The silicone gets thinner and conductive layers come closer when the fabric stretches, producing a different electrical signal, changing their capacitance.

Ability to Detect Finger Movements Easily

The layers are physically locked together by the way they are assembled with the fabric laid on the liquid silicone, allowing it to cure. This makes the signal predictable and the fabric returns to a base capacitance. The slightest bending and stretching produces a significant change and an immediate one. This also works when it is chopped in randomly shaped and sized pieces. The team at Harvard’s Wyss Institute have made a glove using multiple pieces of the material and concluded that light movements made by fingers can be detected with ease. This could be a boon for the sports industry. Today there are many solutions for tracking body movements but they are weird and rigid, fitted on knuckles or mounted inside garbs. However, this new technology is not so.