Clothing-embedded with chips is next

Labs worldwide are pursuing wireless technologies that include chip monitoring for health purposes, as part of a growing networking capability.

The goal of many networks now is to provide a seamless transfer of human wishes into electronic wish fulfillment. Voice-recognition technology allows this in many sectors now, such as mobile phones and PCs. Through the connection of wireless devices into a network, consumers can “hook up” and move forward with day-to-day operations as never before.

Such “interactions” between person and network seem to be part of a wave of future technological solutions that may very well include health-related concerns. Many researchers are pursuing wireless solutions for medical devices, such that sensors hooked up to patients could transmit danger messages from those sensors to medical professionals’ cell phones.

“If your elderly parent is having trouble breathing, you can’t rely on them to do something (like send a text message or make a call),” said MIT Professor John Guttag. “It would have to happen automatically.”

But the real prize, according to many medical researchers, is something all too familiar in recent weeks: the use of wireless chips embedded in clothes and other human-friendly things. It’s not really the RFID-under-the-skin debate, but it is a step closer to one of the state goals of that drive toward future tech.

Some researchers foresee miniature chips sewn into clothing for the purposes of transmitting information at any place and at any time. Emitters broadcasting sports scores, stock prices, and RSS feeds, for example, can transmit such on-all-the-time information to chips that are floating by under the seams of people walking past. And drivers could even get real-time traffic and road hazard information from roadside emitters.

The sensor information, according to many people, could include the clean-or-dirty status of the clothes you’re wearing, thanks to the handy sensor that is embedded there. So the sensor comes full circle and transmits data about itself. Fascinating, no?


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