Electronic textiles, also known as smart garmentssmart clothingsmart textiles, or smart fabrics, are fabrics that enable digital components such as a battery and a light (including small computers), and electronics to be embedded in them. Smart textiles are fabrics that have been developed with new technologies that provide added value to the wearer. Pailes-Friedman of the Pratt Institute states that “what makes smart fabrics revolutionary is that they have the ability to do many things that traditional fabrics cannot, including communicate, transform, conduct energy and even grow”.

Smart textiles can be broken into two different categories: aesthetic and performance enhancing. Aesthetic examples include fabrics that light up and fabrics that can change colour. Some of these fabrics gather energy from the environment by harnessing vibrations, sound or heat, reacting to these inputs. The colour changing and lighting scheme can also work by embedding the fabric with electronics that can power it. Performance enhancing smart textiles are intended for use in athletic, extreme sports and military applications. These include fabrics designed to regulate body temperature, reduce wind resistance, and control muscle vibration – all of which may improve athletic performance. Other fabrics have been developed for protective clothing, to guard against extreme environmental hazards, such as radiation and the effects of space travel. The health and beauty industry is also taking advantage of these innovations, which range from drug-releasing medical textiles, to fabric with moisturizer, perfume, and anti-aging properties. Many smart clothing, wearable technology, and wearable computing projects involve the use of e-textiles.

Electronic textiles are distinct from wearable computing because emphasis is placed on the seamless integration of textiles with electronic elements like micro controllers, sensors, and actuators. Furthermore, e-textiles need not be wearable. For instance, e-textiles are also found in interior design.

The  field of fibretronics explores how electronic and computational functionality can be integrated into textile fibers. The  three distinct generations of textile wearable technologies are

  1. “First generation” attach a sensor to apparel. This approach is currently taken by sportswear brands such as Adidas, Nike and Under Armour
  2. “Second generation” products embed the sensor in the garment, as demonstrated by current products from Samsung, Alphabet, Ralph Lauren and Flex.
  3. In “third generation” wearable, the garment is the sensor. A growing number of companies are creating pressure, strain and temperature sensors for this purpose

Sensoria’s fitness T-shirt, Sensoria’s smart socks

Recent advances, such as embroidering circuits into fabric or transparent sensor material that can be printed on to textiles, are helping to create a range of technologies that bring together the clothing, technology and textile industries to create fabrics with capabilities for users as varied as athletes, patients, soldiers and ordinary consumers. In practical terms, companies like Globe in the US are developing smart fabrics to measure the extreme physiological stress that can be experienced during the course of an individual’s duties – for example, a firefighter or a soldier.Using smart fabrics technology, the company has developed a Wearable Advanced Sensor Platform (WASP) that is being deployed to track a firefighter’sheart rate, core body temperature, respiration rate, activity levels, posture and other factors, as well as provide tracking and improve overall situational awareness.The potential of smart fabrics is huge and recent research suggests the market, including fabrics manufactured with smart materials and those that use embedded sensors, could be worth more than $1.8billion by 2021, driven by the IoT, developments in smart materials and in smaller, more powerful sensors.Research has seen significant developments in electrically conductive yarns and threads, conductive polymers, shape memory materials, phase-changing materials, self-cleaning and antimicrobial materials, as well as nanomaterials. As a result, more applications are moving beyond the laboratory, with end-user applications for the medical, health and fitness, military and security, fashion and non-clothing applications beginning to appear.

Medical is expected to be the largest market for smart textiles and could be worth $1billion by 2021. Using smart clothing, patients with chronic diseases, such as diabetes and heart problems, could be monitored continuously, with updates being regularly sent to their physicians.  “In the health sector,


MSME Transformation camp @ Coimbatore

New Delhi, Oct 15 (KNN) To bolster the operational efficiency of the SMEs, Power2SME and Coimbatore District Small Industries Association (CODISSIA) during SME Transformation Camp apprised MSMEs about the importance of technology to help them overcome any hindrance in operations as regards access to working capital and procurement of raw materials.

The SME Transformation camp was organized by Power2SME the first ‘buying club’ for SMEs in India in association with the Coimbatore District Small Industries Association (CODISSIA) in Coimbatore with an aim to strengthen operations and increase the productivity and efficiency through adoption of technology and adapting to new methods of production

Through the collaboration, Power2SME and Coimbatore District Small Industries Association (CODISSIA) would work towards educating SMEs to help them address issues which could affect their operations including the sourcing and timely procurement of raw materials and need for financial inclusion of SMEs, among others.

Being a house to over 2.18 lakh MSME units, Tamil Nadu is a state bustling with opportunities, said R Narayan, Founder & CEO, Power2SME.

He said that SME Transformation Camps can greatly help MSMEs in the region enhance operations and profitability through creating an enabling environment for their growth and development.

“We intend to make the SMEs capable of augmenting their overall performance through adopting the solutions that would be extended through the sessions conducted under the initiative,” he added.

During the event, CODISSIA, President, R. Ramamurthy said “With support of multiple government policies and schemes, Coimbatore offers a plethora of opportunities for business development and entrepreneurship.”

He said that MSMEs in the region have benefitted hugely with programs like the SME Transformation Camps organised and in future would definitely implement the knowledge they have gained and augment the business further.

The event saw D Balachandran, Assistant General Manager, SIDBI and Sathesh Kumar, Deputy Director, MSME Development Institute, Coimbatore along with senior management from Power2SME, addressing over 65 SMEs.

#ssatheshkumar #msme #Governmentofindia

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