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High-Tech Clothes May Be a Lifeline

June 2 2009 | by

Researchers in Northern Ireland are examining how high-tech clothing could improve the lives of older people and people with disabilities, according to the BBC. The three-year project could see electronic devices built in to clothing that could provide information ranging from heart rate to bus timetables — helping these groups living more independently.

The University of Ulster’s Computer Science Research Institute has been doing work on assistive technologies for independent living and healthcare monitoring. Its director, Professor Bryan Scotney, said they would be looking at sensor technologies that would automatically adjust to meet the elderly and disabled’s daily living needs.

This technology could have benefits as diverse as monitoring temperature in the home and automatically adjusting the thermostat, to even providing a life-saving tool by alerting a doctor or relative if heart rate drops.

Only time will tell if the merger of textiles and electronics marks the beginning of a new industrial revolution.

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