Researchers at Ohio State University have woven intricate yet ultra-thin circuitry into everyday clothing

“A revolution is happening in the textile industry” says director of the Ohio State University laboratory John Volakis. “We believe that functional textiles are an enabling technology for communications and sensing—and one day even medical applications like imaging and monitoring.”

Volakis and his team, who have been hard at work experimenting with an innovative new methodology for connecting clothing to the internet and/or implementing various other capabilities, are on the cusp of a major breakthrough in smart-wear technology. By embroidering circuits using a metallic thread roughly 0.1mm thick, the researchers are effectively weaving technological abilities into otherwise regular apparel, and by stringing different patterns together the researchers can augment specific functions. A certain pattern embedded in a shirt for instance can be used to boost cell phone signals, while a different arrangement configured within a hat can track brain activity.

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