The folks from Japanese research collaboration Life BEANS yesterday displayed their nanotech fiber clothes at the Micromachine/ MEMS exhibition at Tokyo Big Sight. On display was a dress that incorporated nanotechnology which can be used to heat or cool the wearer, and ultimately allow the whole dress to become an electrical device itself.
BEANS or Bio Electomechanical Autonomous Nano Systems, is a collaboration project between a number of universities and science institutes throughout Japan and are the same team responsible for the glowing glucose tracking mouse ear. The technology on display yesterday incorporates a new fabrication process that allows more flexible layers of conductive cells within clothes. Woven into dresses or protective vests, for example, mean that the wearer can be cooled or heated depending on the temperature by activating the nanocells and also enable the transference of electronic data through the clothes themselves.
The nanotechnology in the clothes is capable of being utilized in a variety of ways, including turning the article of clothing into a mobile phone complete with GPS, recording data for sports and health care, or even ubiquitous data exchange by using the fabric as the circuit board itself. With the advancement in flexibility and the ability to weave the layers of conductive materials into fabrics, wearable technology could be integrated into normal everyday clothes.
Communication clothing is a growing area where, as we are increasingly seeing, fashion and electronics become closer combined together. As we rely on electronic data and portable devices more and more in our lives and jobs this type of advancement in technology will be pushing the boundaries of how we communicate with our devices in the future.