Say Hello to Clothes That Can Spy on Your Moves (In a Good Way!)

Imagine your clothes capturing every move with precision. Discover the cutting-edge technology that turns ordinary seams into high-tech motion sensors.
From Sci-Fi to Reality- See How Futuristic Clothes Could Transform Your Fitness Routine and More!
From Sci-Fi to Reality- See How Futuristic Clothes Could Transform Your Fitness Routine and More!(Canva AI image generator/ Dr. Aashita Pargal)

Picture this: Your favourite jacket not only keeping you warm but also recording your every move. Sounds like sci-fi? Well, thanks to the brilliant minds at the Universities of Bristol and Bath, it's becoming a reality.

Here’s the scoop: Researchers have figured out how to weave conductive threads into garment seams, creating tiny electrical circuits that measure body movements. These circuits are powered by harmless low voltages, and their resistance changes as you move. This high-tech stitching could lead to digital clothing that tracks your movements more accurately than your current smartwatch or smartphone.

The groundbreaking research was unveiled at the Designing Interactive Systems (DIS) conference in Copenhagen on July 3rd. This innovation lays the groundwork for e-textile designers and clothing manufacturers to craft next-gen garments.

Think gym clothes that help you perfect your yoga poses or rehab wear that tracks your recovery exercises with precision.

SeamSleeve is a novel sensing mechanism that uses powered seams as sensing channels, retaining traditional fabric design benefits for comfortable and robust motion capture. (a) we empirically evaluate and compare different designs to determine the optimal placement of seams and sensing channels; (b) we demonstrate that our approach can effectively train and classify arm movements; (c) we propose SeamSleeve for rehabilitation exercises beyond the clinic.
SeamSleeve is a novel sensing mechanism that uses powered seams as sensing channels, retaining traditional fabric design benefits for comfortable and robust motion capture. (a) we empirically evaluate and compare different designs to determine the optimal placement of seams and sensing channels; (b) we demonstrate that our approach can effectively train and classify arm movements; (c) we propose SeamSleeve for rehabilitation exercises beyond the clinic.(Olivia Ruston/Newswise)
We see a big opportunity for clothing manufacturers to incorporate our designs into sleeves and seams. Our approach uses common overlocked seams found in standard garments, so there's no need for major changes to existing manufacturing processes.
Professor Mike Fraser from the University of Bristol's School of Computer Science

What’s even cooler? These smart seams can draw power wirelessly from a mobile phone in your pocket, eliminating the need for separate power sources. Plus, advanced AI in smartphone apps can interpret the movement data to recognise specific postures or gestures, like those needed for physiotherapy.

This high-tech stitching could turn your clothes into digital sensors that track your movements more accurately than a smartwatch, with advanced AI interpreting the data for precise physiotherapy exercises.
This high-tech stitching could turn your clothes into digital sensors that track your movements more accurately than a smartwatch, with advanced AI interpreting the data for precise physiotherapy exercises.(Canva AI image generator/ Dr. Aashita Pargal)

To top it off, the team has created a short film to showcase their technique. Check it out and get ready to embrace the future of smart clothing!

Paper: 'SeamSleeve: Robust Arm Movement Sensing through Powered Stitching' by Olivia Ruston, Adwait Sharma, and Mike Fraser in the Proceedings of the Conference on Designing Interactive Systems 2024, Copenhagen, Denmark.

(Newswise/AP)

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