Smart clothing has been around for a few years and is contributing to the renewal of the textile industry. Sensors play an essential role in monitoring physical activities and the health of the wearer, but often these “embedded” systems in the form of a rigid patch do not offer user comfort, are difficult to install and are unable to measure many physiological parameters.
Researchers have therefore designed ways to integrate these systems into flexible materials with textile electrodes. Using these flexible circuits, which cover a large part of the torso, it is possible to monitor body temperature, breathing, heart rate and accelerations in the body. The physiological data can then be immediately transferred to a cloud for remote interactions between the wearer and experts, who can make the right decisions in terms of training or the patient’s medical protocol.
Researchers have also developed polymers/metallic threads to directly weave the printed circuit into the fabric. This opens up the possibility of integrating electronic components with greater flexibility and multiple uses, maintaining the supple elasticity of the textile structures.