Cambridge Consultants designs motion tracking fabric
The British product design and development firm Cambridge Consultants has created a new low-cost, durable and very attractive looking smart fabric that can track body movement.
Interwoven with fibre optic thread that acts as active motion sensors, the textile named XelfleX can help improve a sportsperson’s performance, including perfecting a tennis serve, a golf swing or ski technique, with its multiple accurate angle measurement technology.
Communicates through smartphones with the help of a small electronics pack which can be attached to the garment, the comfortable and washable fabric can also be beneficial for patients taking physiotherapy treatment for injuries, post-surgical care and neurological problems.
While talking about the fabric, XelfleX inventor, Martin Brock, explains, “Our aim was to create wearables that people actually want to wear. With XelfleX, the garment itself is the sensor and it allows you to create smart clothing that is low-cost, durable, useful and attractive to wear.”
“XelfleX demonstrates the benefits of our ‘cross-fertilisation’ of technology between very different sectors – it’s at the intersections between industries that innovation often happens. We’ve combined our extensive experience in wearable technology with our deep knowledge of industrial sensing and control to come up with a smart system design for a new generation of wearables,” he adds.
XelfleX builds on the firm’s extensive experience in industrial fibre-optic sensors and low-cost impulse radar. When a pulse of light is transmitted down an optical fibre, a very well-defined amount of light is scattered continuously along its length. Bending the fibre results in increased scattering and reflection, which then can be measured.
By integrating the fibre into a close-fitting garment, the movement of a joint can change the amount of bending at a defined sensor point in the fibre. Up to 10 sensors are possible along each fibre – with the initial light pulse sent by an LED in the electronics pack. Algorithms then turn the results from the sensors into guidance that users can easily understand, giving feedback on their posture and movement, and coaching them on how to improve.
Cambridge Consultants will present XelfleX together with other innovations at the 2015 International CES, the global consumer electronics and consumer technology trade show, due to take place from January 6 to 9, 2015 in Las Vegas. (PB)
Fibre2fashion News Desk - India