The Next Generation of Smart Clothing
Innovations in wearable technology have already brought us self-warming jackets and self-tying shoes. Now, thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) is being used in a stretchable electronic ink that can be embedded directly in clothing to track athletic performance.
The form-fitting circuit can be seamlessly integrated with fabric, bringing comfort, washability and freedom of design to athletic gear. The electronics can be used to monitor pulse and breathing rate, provide feedback on form, and even track muscle tension and other biometrics.
TPU is a great choice for smart clothing because it is elastic, can be used with a wide variety of fabrics and can be cut to any shape. It also helps to streamline the manufacturing process because the electronics can be laminated in a single step, which should help to make smart clothing more affordable. In addition, the clothing — electronics included — is able to withstand up to 100 wash cycles.