Exploring soft sensors and eTextiles

[gallery] The DIY community and small research studios around the world are continuously pushing the boundaries on the possibilities of eTextiles. Here are some interesting projects and sensors that are being explored:

Bodyinterface introduces various wearable/installation projects done by SIAT soft-circuit research group members in Simon Fraser University as well as projects from the Body Interface course in the same university. Inspired by Hannah Perner-Wilson’s stroke sensor, they're investigating their own which sense when they are touched and stroked. (images)

Hannah Perner-Wilson at Plusea investigates stroke sensors made out of carefully crafted conductive threads:

She is also exploring interesting resistive fabric sensors that can bend and be washed:

And one of my favorite, also from Perner-Wilson, combines craft and technology by knitting a sensor that measures stretch:

If you want to dive in and start doing your own exploration, Lynne Bruning has an informative video that covers the basic materials that you need to start creating and prototyping your own:

Images from bodyinterface.

Woven electronics for commercialization

[gallery] "Researchers have been experimenting with “intelligent” textiles for quite some time by integrating standard electronic components. However, for the most part the electronic parts have only been attached to or sewn into plain old clothes like coats or T-shirts – an endeavor ultimately doomed to fail because of one practical drawback: they’re difficult to wash. Moreover, it takes a lot of handiwork to produce them, which bumps up the price of the clothes.

Scientists from Professor Gerhard Tröster’s Wearable Computing Lab, however, have now gone one step further: they’ve developed a new technology to attach thin-film electronics and miniaturized, commercially available chips to plastic fibers. The researchers eventually succeeded in integrating a large number of microchips and other microelectronic elements directly into the architecture of the material. In order to weave the E-fibers into conventional threads, the ETH-Zurich scientists used customary textile machines." Continue reading on ETH Zurich.

Images from ETH Zurich via talk2myshirt.com