Masashi Toda, Junichi Akita, and their colleagues have developed TextileNet, a technology for cable-free wearable computing.

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[TextileNet. conceptual illustration by camille dodson.]

Wearable electronic/computing devices need electric power. They want to exchange data with each other as well. Wiring can be a tricky issue if one wants to make something good from an esthetic (or ruggedness) point of view. Even if you could use wireless technologies for data communication, you still need wires for electric power.

The developers of TextileNet exploited the common characteristics of all clothes: they have the front side and the back side. TextileNet uses flat surface electrodes made of conductive fabrics on the front side and the back side of clothes. These surfaces are used to create channels for supplying electric power as well as communicating data.

[Feeling uncomfortable without TextileNet.]

[Feeling good with TextileNet.]

In the above photo (right), the jacket uses the TextileNet technology, activating a “pin badge” device on the jacket.

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