24/01/2020 – Advancing towards “emotional” computers — auf Deutsch lesen
New development centre for intelligent sensor textiles
With innovative products and technologies Smart Textiles Lab aims to find new ways to add value to textiles with integrated electronics.
Located near Lake Constance, Europe’s first open-house development centre for intelligent sensor textiles started operations last November. The idea behind the Smart Textiles Lab is to use future-proof innovative products and technologies to find new ways to add value to textiles with integrated electronics.
The lab, which is based in Lustenau (Austria), is operated by the Smart Textiles Platfform Austria, an association of companies and scientific institutions in the three German-speaking countries bordering Lake Constance – Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The lab’s main focus is on sensor textiles for applications in clothing, care products, medical engineering and industry.
A selection of products endowed with textile intelligence can be seen at the lab. They include a shoe insole with pressure sensors, an undersheet with moisture and motion sensors, a sports top with vital data monitoring as well as numerous prototypes for use in the context of the “Internet of Things” (IoT).
Several studies show: Intelligent textiles look set to assume a key role in connecting products to the internet, particularly in the field of wearables and in areas such as eSport, health, safety and the monitoring of systems and machinery.
The 350m² institution, which has been created with the help of public funding, is equipped with a project/showroom and a development laboratory. The facilities can also be used by the network members’ customers for conducting initial trials on smart textile concepts for new wearables and/or eTextiles. The network, which is likewise based at the lab, currently has 64 members, mainly from Austria, Switzerland and Germany (including, among others, TITV Greiz). They are all entitled to access free of charge the smart textiles starter kits and the textile and laboratory technology.
Network head Günter Grabher (Grabher Group) described this new venture as a milestone, enabling smart ideas to be translated into functioning textile-electrical prototypes.
Günther Grabher, Grabher Group:
“The concept allows network members and their customers to use the lab to transform new ideas into functioning prototypes quickly and efficiently.” Grabher has announced the launch of an interdisciplinary AI project within the Smart Textiles Plattform Austria in which smart textiles will be used to transfer human emotions to computers. The world’s first “emotional” computer is to be named L.U.C.E.S.S. (Lustenauer Computer Emotion Sensor Systems). The idea is for the textile sensors to recognise and capture aspects of the human emotional world and to reproduce them for the computer.