Manufacturing & Prototyping
Wearable Textile Antenna Breakthrough
Researchers at The Ohio State University have reached a milestone in the development of wearable electronics - they are able to embroider antennas and circuits into fabric with 0.1 mm precision, which is the perfect size to integrate electronic components such as sensors and computer memory devices into clothing. With this advance, the researchers have taken the next step toward the design of functional textiles - clothes that transmit digital information. The technology could lead to shirts that act as antennas for your smart phone or tablet, workout clothes that monitor your fitness level, or a bandage that tells your doctor how well the tissue beneath it is healing. One prototype antenna looks like a spiral and can be embroidered into clothing to improve cell phone signal reception. Another prototype, a stretchable antenna with an integrated RFID chip embedded in rubber, takes the applications for the technology beyond clothing.