Wearable computers – Science Fiction or Reality soon?

The Advanced Textiles Research Group (ATRG) is a research group at Nottingham Trent University in the UK – a leading institution for advanced textiles research with a global reputation for designing electronically active wearable technology.

Recently the group has received £1.3m to advance the technology that will pave the way towards the world’s first wearable computer. The project aims to create a manufacturing process that will enclose complex electronic circuitry into yarns on an industrial scale. The research group will develop the process for creating electronic yarns – or E-yarns – over the next three years. Professor Tilak Dias, who leads the ATRG, in the university’s School of Art & Design, states: “This project will allow us to take a quantum leap towards seeing wearable E-textiles on the open market. Complex E-yarns circuitry – which is undetectable to the wearer – will allow for the development of wearable electronics as sophisticated as computers.”

Senior Lecturer Will Hurley: “E-yarns have the potential to reform the textiles industry itself and the industries that use textiles. They could be used in many sectors, including medical, defence, aerospace, performance sports, automotive and fashion.” T-shirts used as mobile phones or computers? This project could turn this science – fiction images into reality.