Facile integration of electronics represents the most difficult challenge and greatest opportunity facing wearable technologies today, particularly for garment-based electronic design. Defining durable, low cost, and manufacturable strategies for their integration is essential.
To this end, the NEXT research team under the supervision of Dr. Jess Jur has developed facile methods for the distribution and modularity of a broad range of electronics embedded in a garment, routing the control of these devices to a common location using conductive printing and composite yarns with embedded high gauge copper wiring. Printing methods include traditional textile processes such as screen printing, embroidery, and knit designs. Non-traditional textile methods, such as directly write and ink-jet printing have also been developed, leveraging key industrial partnerships in the ASSIST center. These methods are studied based on their ability to introduce automated processing in the garment manufacturing, which is able to reduce manufacturing cost and improve their durable lifetime so as to introduce these garments to a broad population.
These strategies are also leveraged to bring new technology research and development, as well as new use-case scenarios to the ASSIST portfolio.