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U.S. researchers are developing battery-free smart fabrics

Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Peter Tseng (L) and Amir Hossein Haji Aghajani Memar PhD student. Photo: Steve Zylius / UCI

Engineers at the University of California, Irvine (UCI) have integrated advanced metamaterials into flexible textiles to create a system that allows battery-free communication between fabric and nearby devices. Researchers have used passive magnetic metamaterials based on etched foils of copper and aluminum to extend signal reach to more than four feet.

“If you put your smartphone or charge card close to the reader and pay for the purchase, we use near-field signaling technology. Our fabric works on the same principle, but has significantly expanded its scope.” Said the co-author. Peter Tseng, Associate Professor of UCI Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.. “This means that you may be able to keep your cell phone in your pocket. You can simply hit your body against other textiles or readers to transfer power and information to and from your device. “

“With this invention, the wearer can digitally interact with nearby electronics and make secure payments with a single touch or swipe of the sleeve.” Lead Author Amirhossein Hajiaghajani, UCI PhD Student in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science..

Engineers at the University of California, Irvine (UCI) have integrated advanced metamaterials into flexible textiles to create a system that allows battery-free communication between fabric and nearby devices. Researchers have used passive magnetic metamaterials based on etched foils of copper and aluminum to extend signal reach to more than four feet.

“Our fabric allows electronic devices to establish a signal as soon as you hold your garment over a wireless reader, allowing you to share information with a simple high five or handshake. Manually using a key or another wireless device. It eliminates the need to unlock the car and is a badge for opening the gates of the facility, “said Hajiaghajani.

Near field communication protocols have enabled the growth of applications such as charging wireless devices and powering battery-free sensors, but the downside of NFC is that its range is limited to just a few inches. , UCI said in a press release.

The team’s innovations were designed to be flexible and able to withstand body movements. The signal travels through the UCI-invented system via magnetic induction, allowing you to adjust separate garments, unlike the state-of-the-art continuous hardwire connections in smart fabrics. In athletic gear, pants can measure leg movements while communicating with tops that track heart rate and other statistics.

According to Hajiaghajani, there are countless medical applications, and hospital staff can all be integrated into gowns with metamaterials, freeing them from applying multiple patient sensors. The materials included in the system are low cost, easy to manufacture and customize, and the various lengths and branches of the metamaterial “rails” can be heat pressed onto the wearer’s existing garment. You don’t have to go out and buy. Brand new high tech tracksuit.

“Our textiles are easy to make and integrate with interesting wearable designs,” says Hajiaghajani. “We want to create designs that are not only cool and cheap, but also reduce the burden that modern electronics bring to our lives.”

Fiber2Fashion News Desk (RR)



U.S. researchers are developing battery-free smart fabrics

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