A new friend in your wardrobe, perhaps an electronic polo shirt, will help you turn on the house lights and start the music. In the meantime he will keep you cool, dry, trendy, clean and virus free. Not necessarily in that order.
Purdue University researchers have developed a revolutionary fabric that thanks to a technology called RF-TENG allows the wearer to control electronic devices through clothing.
"For the first time, there is a technique that can transform clothes and fabrics into electronic fibers that feed themselves. They can incorporate sensors, music players or simple beacons without time-consuming or expensive processes.". This is what assures Ramses Martinez, professor at the industrial engineering school of Purdue's College of Engineering.
"It is now possible to make clothes that protect against rain, stains and bacteria while using the energy produced by the wearer's body to feed themselves," says Martinez. "It is a revolution in the development of wearable interfaces, which can now be washed in the washing machine like any other suit ".
The technology behind the invention
Omniphobic Triboelectric Nano Generators (RF-TENGs) - make use of simple embroidery and fluorinated molecules to incorporate small electronic components. RF-TENG technology allows you to have a remote control on you, and at the same time keep bacteria, dirt, water and stains away from the wearer.
"Fashion has evolved tremendously in the last few centuries, but it is only today that it has begun to incorporate highly efficient devices. As a result, examples of smart fabrics and smart clothes are still few," says Martinez. "Wearing clothes that can communicate with devices is the best and most natural approach to the revolution represented by the IoT, the internet of things."
The technical department of Purdue College has already patented the RF-TENG technology and now the researchers are waiting for financiers to complete the tests and market the first clothes.