[Originally posted on EcoGeek.]


Wearable computing has taken another step forward with a new fiber development coming from Huazhong University of Science and Technology in China. The fiber is actually a tiny capacitor stretched into a flexible thread that can be woven into cloth. This offers interesting possibilities for energy storage and for sensors that can be woven into clothing.

By creating a simple rolled capacitor and then heating and extruding it, Professor Jian Feng Gu and his team have created a soft, flexible fiber that is between 0.5 and 1 millimeter (0.02 to 0.04 inches) in diameter that can be woven into cloth yet also has 1,000 times as much capacitance as a coaxial cable.

Used in conjunction with pizeoelectric energy generators (or a portable solar panel) energy to operate electronic devices could be stored in the fibers. Sensors could be developed by combining these fibers with other inductor materials, which could lead to a variety of sensing circuits, as well.

via: MIT Technology Review