The Tampere University of Technology is working on machine washable and wirelessly rechargeable wearable technology.
They prototyped a Noise Shirt which has a microphone that measures the surrounding environments noise level and displays it as a vertical 5 step equalizer bar with the LEDs. Each LED marks a rise above a certain decibel level. The three lower LEDs go from 65dB to 84dB. The top two LEDs mark a noise level exceeding 85dB and 100dB. Continuous exposure exceeding 85dB is the limit set by the European Union for recommended use of hearing protection.
The device has a small battery with a wireless recharging induction loop in the neck tab. The garment is functional whenever charged and won’t require any user input.
The team created a special clothes hanger for wirelessly recharging the shirt. The hanger is shaped to make the shirt’s neck tab drape over the hanger neck, to make the two inductive coils meet.
The system takes about 3 hours to recharge the empty Lithium-polymer battery and depending on the amount of ambient noise the Noise Shirt will run from 2 to 4 hours.
The next step in the research is using wireless communications and a mobile user interface in order to access services and applications produced outside the garment.
PDF of the research.