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US IARPA SMART e-PANTS seeks submissions on smart clothing components

20 Jan '22
2 min read
Pic: Shutterstock
Pic: Shutterstock

The US Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) recently sought submissions on electronic components it can stitch into textiles that will adapt to changes in the external environment or user input. It is particularly interested in components incorporated into textiles, integrated into an entire active smart textile (AST) system or proven to be flexible, stretchable or washable by some independent testing criteria.

The submissions are due on January 31. AST clothing can adapt and change functionality in response to changes in the external environment (weather) or user input (motion).

The Smart Electrically Powered and Networked Textile Systems (SMART e-PANTS) programme aims to incorporate electronic components into clothing that can sense, process and communicate information on individuals’ location and physical surroundings, according to an official press release.

Today's wearables and sensor-laden clothing that collect, process and communicate information on an individuals' heartbeat, temperature or location are too bulky or must be strapped to users' bodies. Textiles offer greater capability, comfort and convenience, but consumers haven't seen much advantage in textile-based systems over the smartphones or other wearable electronics they already carry.

For SMART e-PANTS, IARPA is looking for innovative approaches to incorporating the following six components into ASTs: sensors that monitor audio, video and geolocation; power sources, such as batteries, supercapacitors or energy harvesters that use their surroundings (such as body heat or excretion) as an energy source; computation and data storage devices; data transfer systems that can send data from an AST to a storage or computation device; wires and interconnects that enable connections between AST components in a system; and haptics that indicate device status to the wearer by changing shape, size, vibration or producing some other discernable user response.

Fibre2Fashion News Desk (DS)

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