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Smartwatches, smart locks, smartphones, and smart plugs are all products you’re probably familiar with, but now you can add smart wearables to the list as well. These garments feature smart technology and look like regular clothing, except they have conductive fibers and sensors woven directly into the fabric.

You might think smart clothing is a fairly recent development, but it’s a science that’s been around for hundreds of years. According to the researchers, the first generation of smart clothing was made by craftsmen wrapping metallic threads over ordinary fabric threads. Even Queen Elizabeth I had several dresses woven with gold and silver threads. When electricity became common in the late 19th century, designers began fusing electricity with clothing and jewelry to create garments like motorized hats and party dresses that could light up.

Today, top brands like Levi and Under Armor offer smart fashion choices like jackets, hoodies, t-shirts, and sleepwear. But, they can be pricey, and you may have to pay through your nose if you want to add some of these technologically-enhanced pieces to your wardrobe.

It can make you warmer or cooler

Most people have come into contact with moisture-wicking fabrics designed to absorb sweat and keep you cool. Read also : Man accused of stealing about $ 500 from downtown Jackson stores. But, now, scientists at the University of Maryland have gone a step further by designing a smart textile that can automatically warm you up or cool you down based on the temperature outside, according to Scientific American.

University of Maryland researchers YuHuang Wang and Ouyang Min developed a fabric from infrared-sensitive yarns that react to temperature and humidity. Wang told the Royal Society of Chemistry’s publication Chemistry World that he was inspired to create the technology after thinking about how temperature-sensitive clothing “could be a solution to save energy in the buildings”. He said, “It was an ‘aha’ moment. I was looking at the blinds in my office window and it occurred to me that we needed a switch for our clothes.”

So how does it work? When the fabric senses perspiration, the nanotubes in the fabric activate and pull the carbon strands closer to the fabric to make it more breathable. If the wearer feels too cold or dry, the strands will do the opposite and expand for more warmth (via Scientific American).

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Smart clothing can track a wearer’s movements

Researchers at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory have developed clothing that can detect movement and posture. The garments are made from special fibers that can “feel the pressure of the person wearing the garment,” according to a blog post on their website. See the article : Global food kilometers account for almost 20% of total food system emissions. They call this new technology “touch electronics”, which they can use to make fashion items such as socks, full vests and gloves.

These researchers want to bring touchscreen electronics into the mainstream so they can be produced on a large scale like other garments on the market today. They think their clothes would be beneficial for sports training and rehabilitation. Additionally, the group pointed out that their garments could be useful for anyone requiring ongoing monitoring, such as residents of assisted care facilities. Wearing smart clothes would allow caregivers to check if their residents have fallen somewhere or are unconscious.

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It seamlessly integrates with digital apps

For people who don’t want to fuss with extra devices, wearable technology may meet their needs. Read also : This 32-year-old has a multi-million dollar toy business. Here’s how he got his big break with DC Comics. Recently, Google made a foray into the textile industry through Google ATAP (Google’s Advanced Technology and Projects) and developed a connected clothing platform called Jacquard (via Google), which is featured in Levi’s Commuter Trucker Jacket.

His first project was a collaboration with Levi Strauss in 2015 to make the jacket – a denim outerwear that connects to the internet. This jacket was sold for $350 when first released and is made from conductive yarn and has a smart pocket that users can touch if they want to answer a call, get directions, change music playlists or unlock their phone. Its marketing was aimed primarily at cyclists, who may struggle to get their phone out on the road.

According to Google, the textile featured a conductive Jacquard yarn inside the armband and could wirelessly connect to your device via a snap tag. If you have incoming calls or messages, the tag will light up to alert you. Like any other garment, the jacket is washable, but you must remove the smart tag first.

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