Yogita Agarwal, S Barhanpurkar2, R Kapoor3, Harshit Porwal4

ShriVaishnav Institute of Technology And Science, Indore

Abstract

Wearable computers can now merge seamlessly into ordinary clothing. Using various conductive textiles,data and power distribution as well assensing circuitry can be incorporated directly into wash-and-wear clothing. This paper describes some of the techniques used to build circuits from commercially available fabrics,yarns, fasteners,andcomponents.

This paper describes wearable computing technology  which is an active topic of research. “Wearable computing” in this paper covers the areas of study including the vision of the wearable computing, its background ,materials used in this technology, issues related to the wearable computing and their solutions, applications of  wearable computers, their advantages and disadvantages, the future of wearable computers including some examples of wearable computers and the point of discussion in this field.

This paper aims to provide an overview of projects combining smart textiles and clothing as a basis for further discussions on how smart textiles could be introduced in fashion. The overview covers different projects, research as well as commercial projects, within smart textiles and clothing

Keywords:- augmented reality , behavioural modelling

Introduction

Textiles of today are materials with applications in almost all our activities, we wear clothes all the timeand we are surrounded with textiles in almost all our environments. The integration of multifunctionalvalues in such a common material has become a special area of interest in recent years. Fibres yarns,fabric and other structures with added value functionality have been developed for a range of applications. Textile materials and techniques have become an importantplatform for hightech innovations.

Imagine if your shirt could track your heart rate as you run, or if it could charge your cellphone on the go. Innovative fashion designers and engineers, who are pushing the envelope with “smart textiles,” dream of designing garments that are not just embedded with devices, but actually are the devices. Welcome to the world of wearable computing.

Wearablecomputers can now mergeseamlesslyintoordinary clothing. Using various conductive textiles,data and power distribution as well as sensing circuitry can be incorporated directly into wash-and-wear clothing.

The development of smart textiles is a true fusion of fashion and technology. From manipulating nanoparticles in cotton, to incorporating knit antennas and transistors into garments, the computational fashion industry is reimagining how we use clothing in our everyday lives.

Wearable computing is the study or practice of inventing, designing, building, or using miniature body-borne computational and sensory devices. Wearable computers may be worn under, over, or in clothing, or may also be themselves clothes (i.e. “Smart Clothing”)

The field of wearable computing, however, extends beyond “Smart Clothing”. The term “Body-Borne Computing” or “Bearable Computing” is often used as a substitute for “Wearable Computing” so as to include all manner of technology that is on or in the body, e.g. implantable devices as well as portable devices like smartphones. In fact the word “portable” comes from the French word “porter” which means “to wear”.

Vision

Wearable Computers represents the next generation of textiles anticipated for use in several fashion, furnishingand technical textile applications. The vision of  Wearable Computers is to create textile products that interact bycombiningsmart materials and integrated computing power into textile applications. The introduction ofsmart materials and computing technology in textile structures offers an opportunity to develop textileswith a new type of behaviour and functionality. Besides behaviour like sense, react on and conductingelectricity, the textile will be able to perform computational operations . Smart Textile andcomputing technology are introducing a shift in textile, from a passive to a dynamic behaviour, fromtextileswith static functionalities to products that exhibit dynamic functionalities.

Background

Wearable Computers(Smart textiles) arebased on research,which has its foundation in different research disciplines; textiledesign and technology, chemistry, physics, material science and computer science and technology.Significant for this research is the interdisciplinary approach and the interaction between basicresearchand design activities. Wearable Computers arepossible thanks to the three following developments.

  • The first is the introduction of new type of textile fibres and structures for example conductive materials.
  • The second is the miniaturization of electronics,which makes it possible to integrate electronics into textile structures and products.
  • The third is different kind of wireless technologies enabling the technology to be wearable and at the same time communicating with other devices such as computers or mobile phones.

Wearable Computers wereintroduced in early 1990s, strongly influenced by military research and wearable technology in general.

One of the pioneering projects was the “Wearable Motherboard” ,which isa garment with integrated sensors and communication capabilities.The garment aimstorescue soldiers by monitoring their health status in real time. Another pioneering researcher is Maggie Orth from MIT who explored the different sensing and actuatingcapabilities of textilestructures.Orth created a set ofworking prototypeswhere conductive structures,colour changing materials and electronics were combined into soft interfaces.

In 2000 Phililps presentedtheir exploration of wearable technology and smart textiles through the project “NewNomads”, which is a visionary show collectionrather than working prototypes. Theproject was carried out in a design studio by an interdisciplinary team and presented by a set of visionary concepts.The basic concept of Wearable Computers consists of a textile structure that senses and reacts to differentstimuli from its environment. In its simplest form the textile sense and reacts automaticallywithout a controlling unit, and in a more complex form, smart textiles sense, react and activate a specificfunction througha processing unit. The main parts included in a Wearable Computer system arethe sensor, theactuator and the controlling unit.

Functioning

This technology involves the use of conductive yarns and fibers for power delivery, communication, and networking, as well as new materials for display that use electronic ink, nitinol, and thermochromic pigments. The textiles are created using traditional textile manufacturing techniques: spinning conductive yarns, weaving, knitting, embroidering, sewing, and printing with inks.

Related Issues and their Solutions

The vision behind wearable computing is to provide access to information anytime and anyplace.  But a person wearing a computer should still be able to do what they normally do without the computer slowing them down, making them look funny, or annoying them all the time.   It is ironic that although they are powerful, these wearable computers are not very wearable. Their various components are made of hard plastic, metal, and silicon. They are heavy and angular. Their weight is uncomfortable for extended use and the advantages of wearing such devices are not clear to a majority of people.

The transition of the computing device from the desktop to the body is a physical leap that also requires a conceptual leap. Materials need to change, functionality needs to evolve past the point where wires hang along the user’s body, and the computer housing (the clothing) needs to be more attractive. Most importantly, the wearable computer needs to be less fragile. Users who wear such a thing should be able to do so without the fear of hurting their wearable. They should be able to run, jump, dance, and push their way into a crowded subway. They need to wear the computereasily and effortlessly, without the fear of dropping or breaking the components. Furthermore, it should not be awkward, or dangerous, to get caught in the rain.

In order to become wearable in the same way that a sweater or a pair of pants are wearable, wearable computing needs to integrate and assimilate ideas and methods from another wearable technology, one that is thousands of years old and much more appropriate for housing the body. In order for the wearable computer to be more wearable, it needs to be knit onto the body and conductive yarns need to replace wires.

Textiles, whether knit or woven, are tougher, more flexible, more durable, and much more wearable than a printed circuit board . Textiles have mechanical, aesthetic, and material advantages that make them ubiquitous in both society and industry. The woven structure of textiles and spun fibers makes them durable, washable, and conformal, while their composite nature affords tremendous variety in their texture for both visual and tactile senses . Electronic textile research aims to combine wearable computing with textiles and move towards the vision of a seamless integration of computation on the body. There have been many technological innovations in the field of electronic textiles in the past twenty years,These innovations are starting to trickle down into consumer

APPLICATIONS OF WEARABLE COMPUTERS

Wearable computers can be used in many applications. Inwearable computer user’s skin, hands, voice, eyes, arms aswell as motion or attention are actively engaged as thephysical environment. Various application areas of wearablecomputers are asfollows:

(1)Augmented Reality

(2)Behavioral Modeling

(3)Health Care Monitoring Systems

(4)Service Management

(5)Smart phones

(6)Electronic Textiles

(7)MusicPlayer through Eyeglasses

(8)Fashion Designing

(9)Military Services

Health monitoring for medical assistance

Health monitoring is a general concerns for patient requiring continuous medical assistance andtreatment. In order to increase mobility for such patients a huge effort has been pursued for thedevelopment of wearable systems for the monitoring of physiological parameters such as respiration,cardiac activity or temperature of the body. Smart textiles play a growing role in these developmentssince they are well suited for wearability and washability that ensures the comfort for the user.

Health monitoring integrated inwork wear

Continuous monitoring of physiological parameters is not only a target for medicalapplications;it couldalso be used by different professionals to protect from dangerous situations and injuries.The projectsdirected towards professional make use of earlier developed technologies such as conductive sensors forthe measurement of heart and breathing rate and implements these possibilities into a context,forexample the firefighter situations. Several of these projectscombines the research onsmart textiles andresearch in more traditional areas, for example new type of protective coatings.

ADVANTAGES OF WEARABLE COMPUTING

 

It helps in enhancingcommunication.

Wearable Computers can be used to recognize a person in a high alerted area such as an airport.

A personal Wearable will facilitate the wearer’s needs.

Unlikely to be dropped or lost as there are embedded to the clothesas opposed to the handheld devices.

Able to usewearablecomputers to complete daily tasks such as a computer which tracks the movementsand habits of a person.

FlexibleGivesFreedom

Work fromanywhere

Convenience

Makes tasks morecomfortablesuch as Wearable Computers can be used by Surgeons (a WearableComputer attached to their arms),which can allow data to be transferred to their computers, this cansavetime where the surgeons can look at the wearable for information, this will help improve the efficiency ofan operation.

Time saving

DISADVANTAGES OF WEARABLE COMPUTING

Heavyequipment

Higher cost

Wiring problem

User can be irritated in heat.

Side-Effects such as Headaches,body ache

Wearable Computers can invade privacy

Can be used to gain an unfair advantage over others such as Casinos

Easilytracked wherever you go

It may become easier to get data on an individual if the item is lost/stolen

Not seriously taken by some people.

FUTURE OF WEARABLE COMPUTERS

In future Wearable computers will have a very much bigmarket because now a day’s people want much smallcomponents in computing devices. In future many wearablecomputers are used to cure so many medicaldiseases. Inmilitary also wearable computers are useful to search hiddenthings from enemies. In entertainment world wearable computers will give us improvement in music players,Computer Games etc.There may be wearable gloves or shoeswhich will handle gameobjects. In future wearable computers can be used in following forms:

(1)Smart Fabric work as Wearable Computers

(2)Garments need not to be washed

(3)Shapes and colors of clothes can be changed as per ourwishes

(4)People can create clothes that can sense and react to environmental conditions.

(5)Fitness trackers, like the Amiigo, are available withsensors which helps us take control of our health.

(6)It will show the results on ourhand held devices and with that we can respond to the health system wheneverneeded.

(7)For example a wearable computer likeThe Zeoheadband,will help us know how well we have taken oursleep.

(8)Light up the neck tie.

(9)With the help of neck tie, a music player can also be connected which shows LED lights to be up – down according to music.

(10)GPS unit can be attached with clothes to find way when you are new in the city.

(11)Even whengoogle glass was not in the market, there wereno. of applications that are already developed for it. It shows the future of Wearable computers.

Some examples of wearable computers

1.HUG SIMULATION JACKET LETS PARENTS CALM KIDS VIA MOBILE DEVICES

T Jacket is a tablet-controlled jacket that uses embedded airpockets to simulate hugs and calm children without human contact. The jacket is based on ‘deep pressure theory’, whichsuggests that pressure has a soothing effect on children withautism or attention deficit disorders who don’t process sensoryinformation in the same way as those without the condition.Pockets of air are lined around the waist and shoulders of thejacket and – when instructed to do so via an app – inflate toproduce the effect of a hug. For autistic children, the jacketprovides the sensations involved with a hug without thepotentially distressing human interaction. Although initially developed with autistic children in mind, the TJacket may havea wider application for parents with jobs that require them tospend time away from home

2.GAZE-ACTIVATED DRESSES COME TO LIFE WHEN PEOPLE STARE AT THEM

Fashion designer Ying Gao has concepted two dresses that use eyetrackingtechnology to light up when someone stares at them. Thedresses, named No(where) and Now(here) are made of photoluminescentthread and use embedded eye tracking technology to become activatedby a spectator’s gaze. The concept technology causes the dress tolight up in novel, impromptu ways by activating in accordance with thepeople looking at it.

3.WORKOUT GEAR VISUALIZES ACTIVITY LEVELS OF WEARER IN REAL-TIME

Radiate Athletics has developed interactive compression wear thatvisually informs wearers of the intensity of their athletic performanceby changing colors in accordance with their body’s thermal-output. Tochange colors in real-time, special atoms within the fabric gain a carbonelectron when valence electrons are accelerated through the applicationof heat, affecting the way that the atoms reflect light-waves. The colorof the garment changes to correspond with the muscle groups beingtargeted by specific exercise, giving wearers a visual reference for theirworkouts.

4.CLOTHING MONITORS BODY AND RESPONDS WITH AN EXTERNAL DISPLAY

            The Ger Mood Sweater by Sensoree interprets emotions anddisplays the wearer’s mood instantly as an interactive lightdisplay. Sensors in the dress detect bodily rhythms along withexcitement levels and translate that data into a palette of colors.For instance, the sweater will turn blue if the wearer is feelingcalm, or pink if they are excited. The bowl shaped, high collaris embedded with LEDs that reflect onto the wearer for instantbio-feedback, acting as a visual display for onlookers.

5.SENSOR EMBEDDED SOCKS HELP PREVENT INJURIES BEFORE THEY HAPPEN

Sensoria has developed a pair of sensor-embedded socks thatnot only tracks traditional fitness data such as the number ofsteps, speed and total distance a user has traveled, but alsoprovides data about running form and technique. The sockskeep tabs on a person’s weight distribution and the form oftheir feet while standing, walking and running. Using this data,it’s possible to identify poor running styles and prevent injuriesbefore they happen. An accompanying app delivers simpleadvice about how to unlearn poor running tendencies. It canalso benchmark and analyze performance to give sock wearersa clearer picture of how their performance improves in tandemwith their technique.

Discussion

Smart textilerepresents the next generation of textiles affiliated in both research and commercialactivities. The aim with thisreportis to givean overview of different research and commercial activitiesfor further discussions on how smart textiles could beintroduced in fashion. As this report tells,therehas already been an introduction of smart textiles infashion, however the efforts of introducing smarttextiles in other clothing areas are still dominatingthe research activities.The difference in theclothingarea between health care and work wear application and fashion is thetype of application. In health careand work wear the applications are focused on monitoring the wearer’s health or to facilitatecommunication. In fashion the applications aremore focused on visual or tactile feedback from thewearer.Most of the market analyses and roadmaps on smart textilespoints outpotentialof other areasthan fashion and the funding of research projects also proofs that there is a focus on technical aspects ofclothingrather than fashion.The main issues to further discuss in order to proceed in the area of smarttextiles and fashion are; the gap between research and commercial activities, the technological barriersand theneed for new applications.Despite the lack of measurable data such as economical turnovers in the companies involved. Authors of different market overviews both ignore and reject the actualcommercial efforts in fashion as too small andalsodismiss the applications as “just LEDs integrated inclothing”.Whether they are too small or their business is directed towards some kind of uselessapplications these companies are veritable. They are producing, selling and marketing their business.These companies are not H&M or Zara and it does not seem to be their goal, but still it is a runningbusiness. Some of them are also successful in individual solutions such as artist and event clothing,which also points out that the end product of smart textiles does notnecessarily have to deal withmassconsumption.The failure in the commercialisation of smart textiles could maybe be caused by wrongexpectations of smart textiles as part of the mass production industry rather than smaller andmorespecialised companies.Another explanation for the delayed introduction of smart textiles in commercial activities isthetechnological barriers.What isalsoquite obvious in this overview as well as other reports is that thetechnology isverywell developed. There are soft and flexible electronics and new productiontechnologies that should reduce the technical and production barriers.Another stated barrier is the power consumption, whichis actuallysomething we deal with everydayusing our mobile phone so thatis a barrier thathas alreadybeenovercome. If there is a true need anda27strong consumer interestthe technology andproduction costsarenot an issue. It is also obvious that industrial and scientific experts foreseethat smart textile and clothing applications are more functional oriented while a majority of those who actually take a risk and starts a company are more into fashion and applications like LED attached in clothing.Two design students initiated the investigationin order to find out whypeopledo notuse a bicycle helmet though it could savetheir life. The answers from the usersexposed the fact thatmany people feel ugly and uncomfortable withthe helmet,which gave the idea of an invisible helmet.This invisible helmet is an example of how advanced wearable technology including sensor and airbagtechnologies and textiletransformsour view of wearing a helmet.Compared toother applicationswherethe technology is moretransferredinto textile, for example jackets integrated with mp3 player orconventional electrodes integrated in shirts. In these cases there might be too hard to compete withexisting solutions since it is the wearable technology itself rather than the integration into textile thatmakes sensefor the user. In order to really merge smart textiles and fashion it is necessary to includeinvestigations from different areas toidentify a use instead of speculating about use.Researchers from social science and anthropologistscould support with the analyses of societal issues. These analyses could be further developed intoconcepts using artistic and design processes where artists, designers, scientists and engineerscollaborates in the synthesis of ideas.In order to successfully introduce smart textiles in fashion there isa need for a multitude of methodologies enabling the transformationoftechnology into a meaningfulform of use.

CONCLUSION

In this research paper we describe a very new and interesting topic of Wearable computer and wearablecomputing and also its existence in real world, Provides easiness to be communicating with not to self but otherusers too. Easy to wear so that’s why anyhow anywhere you can easily access the system without anyone’spermission. Due to few of the disadvantages sometimes it’s better to go for much better techniques for example laptop, desktop etc. In upcoming future it may be possible that wearable computer will replace the conventionalcomputers just because they are light and easy to transport, they’re generally useless unless held stationary.Wearable computers, PCs designed to be carried around as they’re being used, might eventually causeus, or ourchildren, to view as unbearably primitive those computers that now demand our seated attention. Finally we cansay that the future of wearable computers is very bright and shining.

In this paper we have tried to give some idea about the past,present and future of Wearable computers. We are dam surethat if in any area wearable computer technology isappliedthen it will definitely improve the quality of life and makedaytoday life easier. It is only our imagination which willlimit the number of applications for this new emergingtechnology. Wearable computer is a platform for the rapidapplication development. On the other hand, as we know thatthere are two sides of a coin, here as the benefits are there ofwearable computers we do have to take care about varioushazards discussed in the paper.

We have shown the combination of  conventionalsewing and electronics techniques with a novel classof materials to create interactive digital devices. Allof the input devices can be made by seamstresses orclothing factories, entirely from fabric. These textile based sensors, buttons, and switches are easy to scalein size. They also can conform to any desired shape,which is a great advantage over most existing, delicate touch sensors that must remain flat to work atall. Subsystems can be connected together using ordinary textile snaps and fasteners.