Smart Shirts in the Future?

First there were smart phones, before long we may have smart clothes.  That’s right. 

It may not be as sexy as finding the cure for cancer or developing a new fuel to replace gasoline.  But a great deal of research is going on in the area of textiles and clothing.  Research money is being used to develop new technologies that could change the way we wear our clothing.

Vital Signs

What if your shirt could monitor your vital signs and help you burn calories just by wearing it?  That sounds pretty cool, right? 

The North Carolina State University’s College of Textiles has received grant money from the National Science Foundation to conduct research on textiles for smart clothes. (I know, I had no idea there was a College of Textiles out there!).

Researchers are working on developing textile material that will monitor your blood pressure, heart rate and other signs of stress, including signs that a wearer has fallen down. 

Imagine the possibilities?  There are dozens of applications that could benefit many different people with that technology. 


Another interesting area of research is that of micro tagging.   According to the NCSU College of Textiles website, “The application of micro tagging techniques to obtain “fiber passports” identifying the source, type, production conditions and composition of textile material is a novel approach to authenticate products, combat illegal import of goods, and provide a secure means of identification of fibrous material.”

I can huge advantages in this technology especially in the area of authenticating products and the combating of illegal import of goods.

Burning Calories

A company is Japan is marketing a line of calorie-burning t-shirts and underwear.  The tight fitting garments apply resistance to the wearer’s muscles in certain spots.  In addition, the garments can help improve the posture of the wearer.

I’m not sure if it actually works, but it is an intriguing idea.  If it does work, you could theologically burn calories while going through your daily routine. 

Who couldn’t afford to burn a few more calories, right?  “Would you like fries with that cheeseburger Mr. Taxdahl?”

I have no idea this kind of research was going on and thought you might find it interesting.  It is unclear at this point of any of this research will find its way to market, but the possibilities are interesting nonetheless.

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