The e-stitch sensors used in ladies’ jeans

The e-stitch sensors used in ladies’ jeans

New soft, flexible, piezoelectric wearable sensors that measure body motions and can also be produced in fashionable fabric types and embroidery patterns, have been developed.

The e-stitch sensors measure movements such as extension, contraction, bending and twisting, and have been developed by Kansai University and Teijin Frontier, the Teijin Group's fibre-product converting company.

The new series is based on piezoelectric kumihimo wearable sensors that Kansai University and Teijin Limited announced in January 2017.

The technologies embodied in soft, flexible e-stitch sensors represent a break from preconceived ideas about wearable sensors because they offer new levels of sensing convenience and fashion.

The latest e-stitch sensors were on show this week at The 4th Wearable Expo in Tokyo, incorporated in products including denim wear made by Japanese designer Homay, the producer of Kyoto Denim clothing, and athletic-shoe insoles.

Going forward, Kansai University and the Teijin Group say they will continue to explore the potential of polylactic-acid (PLA) piezoelectric materials and aim to create highly added-value sensing technologies for augmented-reality applications.

Piezoelectricity is the generation of electric charges by certain dielectric materials in response to mechanical stress. Piezoelectricity also can be used to apply electric voltage to produce mechanical strain in materials. Both effects can be measured, enabling piezoelectric materials to be used for both sensors and actuators.