TT: Your next idea is to use sensors embedded in the clothing to monitor low back stress. If it gets too high, can we automatically engage this smart clothing? Please share details.
As some of the details are confidential, all I can share is that we are looking into integrating sensing and potentially automating engagement of the smart clothing.
TT: What is new in the pipeline? Where and by when will it be made available?
My first priority is to refine the device and carry out further tests. To date, our research team has demonstrated the benefits of smart clothing in reducing low back muscle activity during lifting and leaning. But there is still a lot to explore. Additional research is needed to understand long-term effects on fatigue, pain and injury risks. A series of follow-up studies needs to be carefully designed and carried out. If their results are as exciting and promising as the results we have seen so far, then we may explore commercialisation.
TT: Tell us about your team.
Our team comprises mechanical engineering graduate students Erik Lamers and Matthew Yandell and undergraduates Lauren Branscombe, Josh Fleck and Juliana Soltys. Apart from me, the other faculty advisor is Aaron Yang, assistant professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation, with expertise in non-surgical management of low back and other musculoskeletal disorders.
TT: What is the future scope of smart clothing?
The future looks very promising with almost limitless possibilities. There is a lot of potential application to monitor or assist individuals, in ways that could reduce injury risks and improve health.
TT: How sustainable are smart wears? Is your smart underwear sustainable?
I have not thought about this. How sustainable are regular clothes? (RR)