Some of the initial buzz has waned, but large companies are investing heavily in the technology and giving us a glimpse of what may be ahead.
Manufacturers of outdoor apparel are using Intexar to create a comfortable warmth for the wearer. When integrated into clothing worn by outdoor enthusiasts and industrial workers, the technology can improve comfort, focus, and performance in very cold environments. “Our team worked hard to develop a heater that feels like fabric and doesn’t rely on cables, thick wires, or big batteries,” says Michael Burrows, global business manager of DuPont Advanced Materials. Formosa Taffeta Co. (FTC) is one company using Intexar as part of its Permawarm line of quick thermal-insulation fabrics, which provide clothing brands with a complete garment heating system, including the heater, connectors, and control software.
Automotive interiors are another developing application for Intexar technology. At the 4th Wearable Expo, the automotive components company INOAC showed a heating module that could be used in car interiors.
Myant is a Toronto-based company with a very ambitious mission: to create a digital human presence through a textile ambient interface that would connect every human being to self, others, and artificial intelligence. Myant’s textiles are designed to provide a bidirectional connection between our bodies and the world around us. At CES 2018 (formerly The International Consumer Electronics Show) in January, Myant introduced its Skiin smart clothing platform. Like a second skin, this new textile computing platform can read, record, analyze, and respond to the wearer’s needs. The company’s first Skiin products – smart underwear and bras – have six sensors that allow the wearers to track daily activity, sleep, and stress levels and connect their bodies to other smart IoT devices. Skiin is designed to be comfortable, washable, and suitable for integration in everyday clothing.
“By simply wearing Skiin Garments, your Nest thermostat will adjust to your temperature, your Philips Hue lights will change according to your mood, and your smart lock will unlock according to your unique biometric signature,” says Tony Chahine, Myant founder and CEO. “Or, a calming Spotify playlist will come on when you’re stressed.” Myant’s end-to-end smart-textile supply chain includes a state-of-the-art 3D digital fabrication and robotic knitting division, a printed electronics lab, and a traditional cut-and-sew operation.
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