Connectivity between wearable sensors speed up to 1000 times through smart textiles

  •  Canada
  •  Sep 06, 2019
  •  By WFB Bureau
Connectivity between wearable sensors speed up to 1000 times through smart textiles

The development of sensors, displays and smart devices have been a major breakthrough in electronics over the last decade. These can be integrated onto the human body effortlessly and most of these devices are wearable and are connected singularly to a user’s smart phone.

With emergence of more of wearable devices and simultaneous increase in their data transmission, a need is thus felt of more innovative connection methods.

This quest for newest technological revolution has led the researchers from the National University of Singapore (NUS) to invent a wholly new way of interconnecting the wearable devices. In their experiment, they had incorporated conductive textiles into clothing so that several wearable devices can be connected powerfully at once. This network of wireless body sensor let the devices transmit data with 1000 times stronger signal than the earlier known technologies.

Nature Electronicspublished this technological revolution achieved by 10-member team in a year on 17 June 2019 as its cover story.

At present almost all of the wearable devices connect to either smartphones or other wearable electronics through radio-waves such as Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. Most of the energy gets lost to the surrounding as these waves radiate outwards in all directions. The efficiency of wearable technology thus gets affected as most of the battery life gets consumed in connection trial.

Through this innovation, data between devices can be transmitted perfectly at power levels that are 1000 times reduced. Conductive textiles called metamaterials can enhance regular clothing by creating ‘surface waves’ which glide wirelessly around the body on the clothes. The energy of signal is not lost but held close to the body. These signals are so strong that power is transmitted wirelessly from a smartphone to the device itself. This will thus open avenues to battery-free wearable devices. Such inventive way of networking devices provides more privacy as compared to the traditional methods as well. 

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