(Lecturer, Deptt. Of Textile Technology, PSG College of Technology, Coimbatore, INDIA


Technology is getting smaller and faster and we all know the speed of this development is increasing. We see an ongoing miniaturization and production of materials equipped with special properties. It is possible to integrate properties of sensitivity, information and intelligence into single materials. The materials of our surroundings are being intellectualized. Whereas, in the past, we needed several components to satisfy a certain function, technology today has allowed us to satisfy the same function with fewer components. These materials can interact, communicate and sense. Miniaturization not only means the production of smaller components, but the elimination of components. Formerly people had a traditional relationship with materials, but new materials do not have a known image of themselves. People have had to change from perceiving with cultural and physical depth to perceiving appearances. Therefore materials and objects today are not what they actually are, but what they seem to be and the performance they offer. Our everyday life is being more and more regulated by intelligent devices. Making a system of intelligent objects is one of the most important trends in contemporary engineering and design.

Advances in textile technology, computer engineering, and materials science are promoting a new breed of functional fabrics. Fashion designers are adding wires, circuits, and optical fibers to traditional textiles, creating garments that glow in the dark or keep the wearer warm. Meanwhile, electronics engineers are sewing conductive threads and sensors into body suits that map users whereabouts and respond to environmental stimuli. Researchers agree that the development of genuinely interactive electronic textiles is technically possible, and that challenges in scaling up the handmade garments will eventually be overcome.

The vision behind the idea of wearable electronics systems describes future electronic systems as an integral part of our everyday clothing, serving us as intelligent personal assistants. A wearable electronics garment is always on, does not hinder the user's activities, has easy-to-use interfaces, is aware of the user's situation and provides support, e.g. by displaying relevant information, monitoring health parameters and augmenting the user's view of reality. The possible systemization of wearable electronics consists of the components of a wearable system that provide several functions:

sensor unit: registration of biometric and environmental data and of user commands
network unit: transmission of data within the wearable computer and to external networks
processing unit: calculating, analyzing and storing data
Power unit: supplying. energy
Actuator unit: adapting to situations, creating an effect on the user, displaying data.

The wearable electronics clothing functions like a motherboard, with plastic optical fibers and other specialty fibers woven throughout the actual fabric of the shirt. The flexible bus can transmit critical information to and from the soldiers. The smart shirt is highly useful in detecting the number of bullet wounds and to send the vital signs like temperature rate, pulse rate, blood pressure rate to the remote centre. And also it can help a physician to determine the extent of a soldiers injuries based on the strength of his temperature and heart beat. This information is vital for accessing who needs first assistance during the so called Golden Hour in which there is numerous causalities.

Communication plays a vital role in the defence field; conventional method of communication is too complicated and massive in weight. Since they consist of heavy batteries, lengthier antennas, heavy control box, heavy head phone and discomfort method of operation. Whereas Wearable Electronics clothing eliminates all this hurdles by means of tiny integrated communication circuits. The power can be generated from the usual body movements and by using accumulator circuits.