Originally Published on TechWeb News
Several companies have separately developed thin conductive materials that manufacturers can sew into shirts, pants, jackets, and other consumer products to house electronic controls for devices. The materials and garments are being showcased at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week.
Elam EL Industries Ltd. and Eleksen Ltd. are two companies that have separately developed thin conductive materials that manufacturers can sew into shirts, pants, jackets, and other consumer products from hiking equipment to camping gear. The products are dry-cleanable and machine-washable.
Geared toward both the consumer and the industrial markets, the idea is to integrate technology into apparel. Everything from light sources to electronic controls for devices such as bar-code scanners, computers, walkie-talkies, cellular phones, MP3 players and other mobile devices is available.
"The real challenge is educating consumer and industrial markets about smart fabrics," said John Collins, vice president of marketing and business development at Eleksen, which initially focused on the consumer market.
Industrial applications are on Eleksen's roadmap. It is working with a U.S. manufacturer for industrial products to integrate handheld-device capabilities into wearable applications where the keypad is embedded into a shirt or a glove.