Taiwan’s textile industry is working more closely with the island’s vaunted IT sector to use technologies such as radio frequency identification (RFID) and solar panels in clothing.
The Taiwan Textile Research Institute opened an exhibition Friday to show ideas that it expects to produce for department stores in the next few years.
Some of the clothes addressed e-health. They use sensors to collect data such as a heart rate, blood pressure and body temperature, and then RFID technologies to send the data to servers in hospitals where doctors can track the patients’ health.
The institute also showed a leather jacket with 1-inch flexible solar panels sewn into the back, providing enough electricity to power a digital music player.
A system could be designed that’s powerful enough to run a laptop computer, but it would take a lot more solar panels—and therefore a very big jacket, said Chang Cheng-tung, deputy chief of system integration at the institute.
Jackets with solar panels will likely be in mass production next year, he said.
-Dan Nystedt, IDG News Service (Taipei Bureau)
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