Power-Providing Clothing for Wearable Devices Soon to be a Thing

Most people won’t have heard of power dressing, or if they have they’ll assume it’s a term related to style choices for people who want to make the right impression in business. We will freely admit we’ve never heard of it in either context, but it seems as if the clothing that can power devices is in fact going to be joining the many rather stunning technological advances that have been made over recent years. Indeed, portable power banks in purses have been extremely helpful for people who tend to really put certain devices through their paces during the day, but can we think that they might be replaced en masse by garments?

Well, apparently they may be and what we are talking about here is a flexible waterproof fabric that is built to convert body movement into electrical energy for powering those devices. So if you’re wondering if we’re talking about a pair of pants that powers you up the more you walk – that’s exactly what we are talking about here! It really is quite the eye-opener to dig up all the technological advancements that are occurring in the world, and what we do here each week puts us directly in line to do that.

This is the sort of news that is intriguing for any good Canadian web hosting provider, and obviously that’s because it is going to have an immediate appeal for everyone and not just those who are especially digitally and web savvy, or even a person who relies on someone like us for reliable web hosting. If motion can mean recharging, who’s not going to see the upside in that?

Press on Polymer

If what we’ve read about this is correct, this really is some cool technology in the making and as the researchers in Singapore have noted it is set up to be particularly ideal for people with wearable smart devices that have more in the way of ongoing power needs and / or aren’t quite as easy to be recharging regularly.

The key ingredient in this powering fabric is a polymer that when pressed or squeezed takes vibrations produced by the smallest of motions and then is able to convert them into an electric charge. The material is made with a spandex base layer and reinforced with a rubber-like component. When conducting an experiment with it researchers found that when they tapped a 4cm piece of the material it immediately generated enough electrical energy to light up 100 LED bulbs.

Again, they are referring to this as Power Dressing, and the concept of it has actually been analyzed for more than 20 years before it picked up enough steam to be where it is today and getting closer to realization. One thing that they are finding, however, is that most electricity-producing fabrics don’t hold up to long-term use. They also don’t take very well to being cleaned in washing machines, and that is a hurdle that absolutely has to be overcome.

Work in Progress

So obviously the immediate focusing was getting over that roadblock, and developing something that does not degrade in function after being washed and maintains the same level of electrical output over time. Consider it done, as the development team in Singapore has now done just that and is reporting their revised conductive material doesn’t lose anything when washed, folded, or crumpled. What’s more, they are estimating that it will maintain stable electrical output for five months of wear, and keeping in mind no one’s going to be wearing these garments every day.

The prototype is set to woven into garments, but it may also eventually be compatible with footwear, which is where it would most likely get the most bang-for-buck with charging based on intensity of motion.

It is capable of producing a 2.34-watts-per-square-meter charge in one of 2 ways: either by pressing or squashing in the same way standard piezoelectricity is created., or when it comes into contact or is generating any measure of friction between other materials, including skin or certain other fabrics that would promote it. When attached to an arm, leg, hand, elbow, or even to the insole of a shoe it will be able to harness energy from a range of human movements, including running, playing sports, or roaring through the park trying to keep up with your dog.

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