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Judges’, Community, & Public Choice
Energy Textiles: a Multidisciplinary Approach to Integrated Electronics in "Smart" Garments
Fashionable Technology is a multidisciplinary field of study, focusing on the fabrication of wearable electronics by combining fashion design techniques with advanced nanotechnology. Applications of fashionable technology range from wearable and soft bio-sensors to integrated circuitry that can monitor human vitals in hospitals, combat, or in space. Beyond the engineering perspective, the field has shown applicability in the aesthetic realm as a transformable means of expression on the body, including clothes that change color and shape while performing electronic functions similar to an iPhone. However, previous designers and researchers in the field of “smart” textiles still struggle with the challenge of finding seamless solutions to currently available, and bulky, power sources. Therefore, the focus of our presentation will be on one of the fundamental components to all electronics: energy storage. We will present cutting edge research on textile energy storage, the design and engineering challenges researchers like ourselves still face, and how textile energy storage fits into the world-scope of research on flexible energy technologies. We will also elaborate on the importance of interdisciplinary collaboration and how it has been a key element to the success of our research.