Traditional textiles simply function as a covering material. Based on the rapidly changing global demands and due to advanced technological improvements, the development of integrated electronics and responsive functionality on textiles has led to the emergence of E-textiles and smart textiles accommodating the revolution we are witnessing in wearable electronics.
The development of high value-added products such as smart fabrics and clothing, wearable consumer and medical devices, and protective textiles has increased rapidly in the last decade.
Recent advances in stimuli-responsive surfaces and interfaces, sensors and actuators, flexible electronics, nanocoatings, and conductive nanomaterials have led to the development of a new generation of smart and adaptive electronic fibers, yarns, and fabrics for application in E-textiles.
Advances in the ability to free-form print circuit processes enable electronic systems to be assembled directly onto textile items. This type of technology, “E-textiles,” will compete with existing wearable devices that have dominated the market (smartwatches and fitness trackers), as a more discrete alternative to health and physiological monitoring.
Electronic textiles incorporate interdisciplinary studies such as textiles, nano/microtechnologies, computing systems, and communications and information technologies.
E-textiles monitor heart health (heart rate, heart rate variability, electrocardiogram), activity recognition and measurement, sleep stage and sleep quality detection, drug adherence, stress level monitor and body temperature measurement, chemical sensing and can return heat and stimulus through the very fibers of textile products.