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Nextiles (a technology company) is designing clothing ‘smart thread’ that could replace computer-chipped wearables

Summary

Tech writer John Koetsier says ‘the dirty little secret about wearable tech is that mostly, it’s not’. His point is that most wearables are either strappables or chunky little solids embedded in a shoe or bracelet. But that appears to be about to change thanks to an innovative company called Nextiles. The company aims to use specially processed thread—known as ‘smart thread'—to act as the same kind of data streams currently found in a computer chip. This thread would either be woven into clothing or sewn in as an aesthetically interesting design. Currently, Nextiles uses a hard plastic bead in its smart clothing, which houses a small battery and Bluetooth radio to transmit data to an app accessible using a smartphone. Eventually, however, their smart clothing should be able to harvest energy from ambient motion and heat. This new (now patented) technology could be available to the public by 2022.