Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Smart clothing on display at ARPA-E Technology Showcase

Prof. Joseph Wang (left) and graduate student Jaewook Shin (right) representing the UC San Diego Center for Wearable Sensors at the 2016 ARPA-E Technology Showcase.
What if your clothing could help you save energy by serving as your own personalized air-conditioner and heater? This new generation of smart clothing from UC San Diego was one of the innovative energy technologies on display at the Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy (ARPA-E) Technology Showcase this week in Washington, D.C. The ARPA-E showcase featured more than 250 displays of cutting-edge technologies (from academia, industry and government) that aim to change the way society generates, uses and stores energy.

The smart clothing project, titled Adaptive Textiles Technology with Active Cooling & Heating (ATTACH), is led by Joseph Wang, distinguished professor of nanoengineering and director of the Center for Wearable Sensors at UC San Diego. The focus of the project is to design clothing that adapts to temperature changesin the home, office, or carin order to keep the wearer's body at a comfortable temperature regardless of how hot or cold it actually is.

The fabric will be embedded with temperature-responsive polymers and a smorgasbord of other printed wearable devices, including rechargeable batteries, thermoelectrics and biofuel cellswhich will all be thin, stretchable and flexible.

"Adaptive textiles can lead to major energy savings by providing localized heating and cooling," said Wang. Researchers propose that this technology could potentially cut the energy use of buildings and homes by at least 15 percent.

Read more about the smart clothing project here.

Visit the Center for Wearable Sensors site to keep up with the latest in wearable technology from UC San Diego.

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