Most individuals have come into contact with fabrics intended to wick away moisture and keep you cool. But now, according to Scientific American , researchers from the University of Maryland have gone a step further by creating a smart textile that can automatically warm or cool you depending on the outside temperature.

Researchers from the University of Maryland, YuHuang Wang and Ouyang Min, created a fabric using infrared-sensitive yarn that responds to humidity and temperature. Wang stated that he was motivated to develop this technique after considering how temperature-sensitive clothing “might be a solution to save energy in buildings” in an interview with the Royal Society of Chemistry publication Chemistry World . He stated: “An “aha” moment occurred. I had the thought as I was staring at the window coverings in my workplace that we need a switch for our clothes.”

So how does it function? The nanotubes in the fabric activate when it senses sweat, bringing the carbon strands closer together to increase breathability. The strands will extend to trap more heat if the wearer feels too cold or dry (via Scientific American).

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Wearable technology may be able to meet the needs of those who don’t want to hassle with extra gadgets. Through Google ATAP (Google’s Advanced Technology and Projects), which it launched recently, Google entered the textile sector and created the linked clothing platform Jacquard (through Google ), which is used in the Levi’s Commuter Trucker Jacket.

Its initial venture was an collaboration with Levi Strauss in 2015 to create a denim jacket with internet connectivity. This jacket has a smart sleeve that users can touch to accept calls, change music playlists, receive directions, or unlock their phone. It is constructed of conductive yarn and was originally marketed for $350. Its advertising was mostly directed at cyclists, who could find it challenging to pull out their phones while driving.

Google claims that the fabric had snap tags that could wirelessly link to your device and had conductive Jacquard thread within the cuff. The tag will illuminate to let you know if there are any incoming calls or texts. The jacket may be washed just like any other article of clothing, but you must first take the smart tag off.


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