Innovative fabric enables digital communication between wearers, nearby devices — ScienceDaily

Imagine your car starting the moment you get in because it recognizes the jacket you’re wearing. Consider the value of a hospital gown that continuously measures and transmits a patient’s vital signs. These are just two applications made possible by a new “body area network”-enabling fabric invented by engineers at the University of California, Irvine.

In a paper published recently in Nature Electronics, researchers in UCI’s Henry Samueli School of Engineering detail how they integrated advanced metamaterials into flexible textiles to create a system capable of battery-free communication between articles of clothing and nearby devices.

“If you’ve held your smartphone or charge card close to a reader to pay for a purchase, you have taken advantage of near-field signaling technologies. Our fabrics work on the same principle, but we’ve extended the range significantly,” said co-author Peter Tseng, UCI assistant professor of electrical engineering & computer science. “This means you

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