Innovative research reawakens human memories through intelligent textiles

June 3, 2010

As part of the 2010 Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences, two teams of researchers led by Professor Barbara Layne of Concordia University, Montreal, and Professor Janis Jefferies at Goldsmiths, University of London, U.K., have brought research in intelligent textiles to a new level.

The research teams have developed a highly sophisticated concept of interactive clothing whereby the body's physical and emotional state triggers the transfer of personalized memory back to the wearer.

The project, titled Wearable Absence, uses a system of wearable devices never before seen in the expanding field of intelligent textiles. Combining uniquely engineered adaptors and soft cabling systems with fashionable clothing designs, the prototype garments incorporate wireless technologies and bio-sensing devices to activate a rich database of image and sound, creating a narrative, or string of messages, from an 'absent' person.

Wireless sensors and bio-sensing devices are embedded into garments that record the wearer's temperature, heart rate, galvanic skin response (moisture) and rate of respiration. The data is sent via the Internet to a sophisticated database which in turns sends back messages to the clothing. The messages, which evoke memories of an absent person, may take the form of voice recordings or songs broadcast from speakers sewn into a hood or shoulder seams, or scrolling text on a LED array woven into fabric, or video and photographic imagery.

To give an example, a person might be experiencing a certain such as stress, grief or despair. The bio-sensors would prompt the person's clothing to receive a range of messages such as photos, texts and sound recordings to provide comfort.

This unique combination of textile arts, emotional mapping and responsive technologies can enhance human experience, with enormous potential for the fields of health care and well-being.

Explore further: Concept of Wearable Electronics Gains Momentum

More information:

Related Stories

Concept of Wearable Electronics Gains Momentum

July 26, 2004

The German clothing manufacturer rosner from the Bavarian city of Ingolstadt and Infineon Technologies AG today presented a jointly developed product: A men’s jacket called “mp3blue” that features built-in functions ...

'Second skin' helps care for all

May 10, 2006

CSIRO scientists are creating a ‘second skin’ made from wool and Lycra to help protect the body against wounds and major traumas.

Clever clothes in a smart world

February 14, 2008

Pretty soon your gym gear will be more high tech than the groaning treadmill beneath you. Smart textiles and wearable devices can monitor your vital signs as you go about daily life. These clever clothes already exist and ...

Pret-a-sauver fashion for disasters

October 17, 2008

( -- European researchers are helping rescue workers and disaster victims by creating innovative clothing from smart fabrics. The clothes can monitor people’s health, identify their location and even detect ...

Recommended for you

The ethics of robot love

November 25, 2015

There was to have been a conference in Malaysia last week called Love and Sex with Robots but it was cancelled. Malaysian police branded it "illegal" and "ridiculous". "There is nothing scientific about sex with robots," ...

Glider pilots aim for the stratosphere

November 20, 2015

Talk about serendipity. Einar Enevoldson was strolling past a scientist's office in 1991 when he noticed a freshly printed image tacked to the wall. He was thunderstruck; it showed faint particles in the sky that proved something ...

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

3 / 5 (1) Jun 03, 2010
Your shirt says to you "My bio-sensors indicate that you're really upset about this. I honestly think you ought to sit down calmly, take a stress pill and think things over." Sound a bit like HAL 9000? Well ... that's because I adapted the quote from wikiquote. But still kinda creepy, no?

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.