What about "smart socks"?

Smart Socks by Sensoria, they can track your walking (and running) and provide data to help physical training and even raise red flags needing further analyses by your doctor. Credit: Sensoria

Wearable are a reality, the smart phone is a kind of wearable, since it is always with you. Wrist band and smart watches are also becoming widespread.

For some, 2016 may mark the year of the first disappearance of wearable from our perception, as they seamlessly mingle with everyday objects.  This is fostered by electronic textiles.

Technology is progressing rapidly in this area. Researchers at Case Westerns Reserve University have announced in December 2015 the development of flexible wire-shaped micro-capacitors that can be embedded in textiles. To do this they modified titanium wires covering them with polyvinyl alcohol and phosphoric acid and further wrapped them with yarn or a sheet of carbon nanotube serving as second electrode.

According to Liming Dai, professor of Macromolecular Science and Engineering at Case "they can be a wearable, flexible power source for wearable electronics and also for self powered biosensors or other biomedical devices, particularly for applications inside the body".

We already have smart fabric on the shelves. As an example smart socks by Sensoria are sold at 200$ (two pairs) and harvest data on the way you walk and run through sensors weaved in the textile. The data are transmitted via bluetooth using an anklet you place on the shin. 

The first wearable electronics goes back to 2002 when it started helping athletes in the training for the Olympic Games. Since then it has become cheaper and more widespread to the point that many of us started to notice it. Now, it seems, it may have reached the tipping point, a point where it is becoming so widespread and non-intrusive that it fades out of our perception.

Author - Roberto Saracco

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