AITEX embeds sensors in textiles

16 October 2014

Textiles that harvest energy from RF fields use RFID chips from Farsens to drive temperature or heartbeat sensors.

Spanish non-profit association AITEX (Textile Industry Research Association) is working on intelligent clothes that will feature embedded autonomous sensors. It is researching flexible antennae built into textiles that will harvest energy to power up devices embedded in clothes.
Initially development focuses on temperature and movement detection sensors, with future solutions to monitor the user’s heartbeat or breathing for sports and healthcare applications, says Josue Ferri, Information and Communication Technologies Projects Technician in AITEX.

The association has developed temperature, heartbeat and breathing monitoring based on Bluetooth technology but to meet demand for smaller, longer battery life for the sensors, it has started to look at passive electronics that can be embedded into textiles. Target applications are medical and sport designs, where both user comfort and zero-maintenance are important factors.

The introduction of battery-free technology into the clothing with flexible textile antennae, are designed to harness energy from different sources.

In order to embed the sensors without requiring batteries, the association is using Farsens’s ANDY100 RFID chip. The energy harvested by the textile is then used by the chip to manage sensors and wirelessly send data back to the system.

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