US scientists create cloth that can listen, produce sound
2010 07 13

From: Alternet.org


This could give a whole new meaning to the phrase power dressing. Scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have created a cloth that can hear and emit noise.

The development, described in the August issue of Nature Materials, transforms the usual passive nature of textiles into a virtually all-singing, all-dancing version.

The team, led by MIT professor Yoel Fink, has reached "a new milestone on the path to functional fibers: fibers that can detect and produce sound," MIT said in a statement.

The development, described in the August issue of Nature Materials, transforms the usual passive nature of textiles into a virtually all-singing, all-dancing version.

According to MIT, "applications could include clothes that are themselves sensitive microphones, for capturing speech or monitoring bodily functions, and tiny filaments that could measure blood flow in capillaries or pressure in the brain."

The decade-old research project aims to "develop fibers with ever more sophisticated properties, to enable fabrics that can interact with their environment," MIT said.

The new space-age cloth, it said, can not only listen, but make sound.

"You can actually hear them, these fibers," Noemie Chocat, part of the lab team, said.

"If you connected them to a power supply and applied a sinusoidal current, then it would vibrate. And if you make it vibrate at audible frequencies and put it close to your ear, you could actually hear different notes or sounds coming out of it."

The new fibers are based on a similar plastic to that used in microphones.

However, researchers manipulated the fluorine content to ensure its molecules stayed lopsided. That imbalance makes the plastic piezoelectric, meaning it changes shape when an electric field is applied.

"In addition to wearable microphones and biological sensors, applications of the fibers could include loose nets that monitor the flow of water in the ocean and large-area sonar imaging systems with much higher resolutions," MIT said.

"A fabric woven from acoustic fibers would provide the equivalent of millions of tiny acoustic sensors."

Article from: Alternet.org




MIT produces fibers that can speak, hear
By Stephen Shankland| News.CNET.com


Different-shaped fibers can emit sounds in a variety of ways. (Credit: MIT)

The walls have ears, the saying goes--but at some point, so might people’s clothes. With the help of fiber research at MIT, fabrics of the future could both hear and make noises.

Yoel Fink, an assistant professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and his colleagues developed fibers that are active where most are passive. Specifically, through a new application of widely used technology called piezoelectrics, fibers can convert sound waves into an electrical signal and vice versa, MIT announced Monday.

Piezoelectric speakers have been around for a long time--beeping digital watches and those musical greeting cards use them, for example--but Fink’s approach uses fibers instead of a flat speaker. Key to the approach is making the fibers so that one side is different from the other, rather than being symmetric.

One edge of the fiber has more fluorine atoms running along it, and the other has more hydrogen atoms. This difference is responsible for the connection between the fibers’ movement--whether caused by sound or causing it--and its electrical properties.


A sample of the MIT piezoelectric fibers that shows their dimensions. (Credit: MIT)

"Fabrics woven from piezoelectric fibers could be used as a communication transceiver," the researchers wrote, describing their approach in the July 11 issue of Nature Materials.

Sound isn’t the only sensitivity possible with smarter fabrics. MIT also has worked on cameralike fibers sensitive to light.

The fibers aren’t easy to make. They’re produced from much larger cylinders that are "drawn" through a small aperture at higher temperatures. The MIT group managed the task using a number of techniques, including the use of an electrically conducting graphite-based plastic and a strong electric field to align necessary molecules.
Don’t expect walking boom boxes anytime soon, though. Besides manufacturing and other practical constraints, the fibers today work only with kilohertz to megahertz sound frequencies, and humans employ much lower frequencies.

Article from: news.cnet.com





Related Articles
Multimaterial piezoelectric fibres - Nature.com
Smart clothes offer emotional aid
Build a Post-Apocalyptic Shelter Out of Cloth: Just Add Water
1 Million Spiders Make Golden Silk for Rare Cloth
Using cloth to protect military vehicles from RPGs
Slash proof clothing (Video)
Man Files Patent For Taser-Proof Clothing


Latest News from our Front Page

What happened to Journalist Serena Shim? Assassinated? Find out what happened to Serena, Press TV director calls on Turkey
2014 10 21
Press TV news director Hamid Reza Emadi says the “suspicious death,” of the news channel’s correspondent in Turkey is a tragedy for “anyone who wants to get the truth.” Emadi made the remarks in an interview with Press TV on Sunday following Serena Shim’s death across the border from Syria’s Kurdish city of Kobani, where the ISIL terrorists and Kurdish fighters ...
Ancient Roman Nanotechnology Inspires Next-Generation Holograms for Information Storage
2014 10 21
The Lycurgus Cup, as it is known due to its depiction of a scene involving King Lycurgus of Thrace, is a 1,600-year-old jade green Roman chalice that changes colour depending on the direction of the light upon it. It baffled scientists ever since the glass chalice was acquired by the British Museum in the 1950s, as they could not work ...
Rapid Geomagnetic Reversal Possibility: Confirmed
2014 10 21
From the video: "The scientists who conducted the study are still unsure why the magnetic field is weakening, but one likely reason is the Earth’s magnetic poles are getting ready to flip, said Rune Floberghagen, the ESA’s Swarm mission manager. In fact, the data suggest magnetic north is moving toward Siberia." Tune into Red Ice Radio: Ben Davidson - Suspicious0bservers: Space Weather ...
Georgia Guide Stone 2014 cube stone removal
2014 10 21
From: Youtube: Was it all just a gag? it seems the cube stone just happens to be made out of the same Elberton granite that the rest of this morbid monument is made from.
Secret Project Created Weaponized Ebola In South Africa In The 1980s
2014 10 21
“No records are available to confirm that the biological agents were destroyed.” Operating out of South Africa during the Apartheid era in the early 1980’s, Dr. Wouter Basson launched a secret bioweapons project called Project Coast. The goal of the project was to develop biological and chemical agents that would either kill or sterilize the black population and assassinate political enemies. ...
More News »