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Cambridge's cool new invention; a piece of cloth is a display

by Norma Noldo 2 months ago in tech
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They have developed a textile-based smart display that integrates smart sensors, LED displays, and electrical energy collection and storage directly into textiles, which can not only display graphic information in real time, interact with touch, but also bend and roll arbitrarily." A piece of cloth is a display"

When Textiles = Electronic Displays

With the popularization of concepts such as "smart home" and "Internet of Things", smart textiles have also become one of the focuses of scientists today.

If the textiles that can be seen everywhere in the streets can be used as various electronic devices, our life is bound to become more convenient and cool. However, at present, the function, size and shape of smart textiles are still limited by the manufacturing process and cannot meet this demand.

In recent years, related research has proposed that some special "smart fibers" can be directly integrated into textiles through traditional weaving or knitting processes. If successful, it means they can be made into everyday objects, greatly expanding the potential applications of smart textiles. In this study, the research team successfully produced a smart textile system called F-devices. The prototype device is about 46 inches. Although the appearance is no different from ordinary cloth textiles, it can operate as an electronic display. Real-time monitoring and display of RF signals, temperature, light, touch information, bio-sensing information, and automatic collection and storage of electricity.

At the same time, because it is directly made by commercial textile manufacturing technology, the raw material is textile fibers, which can be rolled and folded arbitrarily, with flexibility and flexibility that were difficult to achieve in previous smart textiles.According to the research team, the prototype display fabricated this time paves the way for next-generation e-textile applications, which may be involved in areas such as smart and energy-efficient buildings, such as buildings with smart textile technology that can generate and store energy on their own. In addition, the Internet of Things, distributed sensor networks, and flexible and wearable interactive displays integrated with textiles will all take a big step forward.

Multiple functions in one, so cool!

So, how exactly is the system implemented?

First, the research team integrated 6 large fiber components of F-RF antenna, F-photodetector, F-touch sensor, F-temperature sensor, F-biosensor module, and F-energy storage module, while using RGB fiber as raw material , which realizes the multiple functions of the display screen.

The future may be "promising"

In addition to the excellent functional realization, in order to perfectly integrate the smart display and the weaving process, the research team also coated each fiber part with a material that can withstand enough stretching so that they can be directly used in textile manufacturing machinery and equipment middle.

In addition, in order to improve the reliability and durability of the smart display, the research team also woven some fiber-based components. After 1,000 mechanical and electrical stability tests and waterproof tests, it was found that there was no mechanical damage to the fiber optic components, and the performance deviation was also small. remain within a stable range.

In the end, the research team used conductive adhesives and laser welding techniques to join multiple fiber-optic components together, and successfully integrated multiple functions into a large piece of machine textile through a standard scalable textile manufacturing process.

In this regard, one of the leaders of the study, Jong min Kim, Professor of Engineering at the University of Cambridge, said: "Our method is based on the integration of micro and nanotechnology, advanced displays, sensors, energy and industrial textile manufacturing, which is a An important step towards making the most of sustainable, accessible e-fibers and e-textiles in everyday applications."

Currently, the research team is continuing to study how to improve the sustainability of the technology and how it can be applied to everyday objects, and is working on integrating sustainable materials into fiber components to propose a new class of textile-based energy systems. These flexible and practical smart textiles could eventually be made into batteries, supercapacitors, solar panels and other devices.


About the author

Norma Noldo

I mainly write introductions about new technologies, long and short stories, and occasionally some personal experiences. Follow me if you like!

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