No time now?
Chinese researchers have succeeded in making a fabric sheet that acts as a monochromatic display. In the next step, they also want to integrate the input methods.
Instead of raising your hand on the smartphone to read the latest news straight from your shirt, it will definitely be a convenient thing. Football clubs can save a lot of money by buying T-shirts with the Sputur ad, shirt number and player name. Motorcycles can use their forearms as a navigation device. Many applications are considered for a fabric that acts as a screen.
Dot display made of cotton and other fabrics
In fact, researchers have been working on this wearable form for years. A 19-member research team led by Beinen Chen and Huisheng Peng at Futan University in Shanghai, China, has now succeeded in producing multi-colored fabrics measuring 6 × 0.25 meters, containing 500,000 light elements and acting as a point of view.
The fabric should resist crushing, folding and washing and should not lose its functionality. Researchers report In a recent article in the scientific journal Nature.
High-tech loom fabric weaves dense lengths
In it, they describe the production of a particularly luminous substance. Zinc sulfide threads coated with silver are then applied to the phosphor. By adding cotton, they were woven into a loom with fake yarns made of polyurethane yarns, which were electrocuted by ionizing liquid. In this way, a light element was created at each junction of the texts. The fabric was so tightly bound that the distance between the elements was less than a millimeter.
The individual light elements would not have shone with exactly the same intensity. However, the deviation was less than eight percent, which does not feel like a deviation.
In one type of endurance test, the researchers shattered, stretched, and folded the fabric up to 1,000 times. The material had to withstand 100 washing and drying processes. After that, most lighting elements continued to work, and the brightness did not weaken significantly.
Colors, keyboards, electricity – everything is possible
To differentiate the scene based on color, the researchers worked with copper and manganese. They used it to coat zinc sulfide threads, which set blue or orange accents depending on the material.
Researchers believe that with a mixture of zinc sulfide and conductive polyurethane, keyboards can also be integrated into fabric. Sunlight can also be converted into electricity. Eventually, a self-contained system such as keyboard, display and power can be integrated into clothing – the computer unit is still missing.
Researchers want to find this directly in the brain of a person who wears clothes in the distant future. Until then, it should be easy to sew the pocket for a smartphone connected via Bluetooth.