If not, something very much like it is in the works at OMsignal. The electronic textiles used to manufacture our eponymous shirts create a second skin that pushes the sense of touch to a new level. From now on, your body can interact with the world in a whole new way.
This product is intended to be so comfortable to wear that it will fade into the background as it provides a constant stream of personal bio-sensing data. In fact this data itself may well become as ubiquitous as the internet or electricity, giving anyone who wears an OMsignal shirt – and anyone they decide to share the information with – access to the health impact of both specific activities and overall lifestyle.
The time is right to be developing an electronic textile product for the mass market. Electronic components are not only cheaper, they have also reduced in size to the point where they can be more easily integrated within textiles. But even more excitingly, revolutionary new kinds of functional fibers now exist that can actually replace traditional electronic components. The idea of weaving a computer is no longer science fiction.
OMsignal’s critical insight has been that electronic textiles are neither textiles nor electronics, but a trueintegration of both. As Co-Founder Fred Chanay puts it: “Our product developers have to be artisans and electronic engineers at the same time and learn to think in completely new ways. They need to work with a combination of existing and proven technologies in conjunction with emergent materials. I don’t envy them for one minute!” he laughs.