TextileSense is Bluetooth based smart sensor platform that allows users to collect realtime information from the layers inside a clothing item. It was joint R&D project with Estronics and Protex.
Smart textile sensors with the smartphone app
Textile sensor platform from idea to prototype
Making clothing items smarter is an ongoing challenge in the textile industry. Their typical supply-chain and development cycles are not tuned to add any complex electronics and software into the equation. Embedding electronics provides also lots of technical challenges like protecting the circuitry from the hard environment and constant motion and flexing. In the meantime, getting accurate numeric data about the clothing item can be immensely valuable. We started off with the R&D idea, how to help clothing designers make better data-driven decisions. The same technology could be also used for worker monitoring and job site safety.
Our mission was to build a universal Android and iOS accessory and in the process, we overcame following technical challenges:
- Designing compact Bluetooth hardware that is sweat- and waterproof
- Making nRF52 ARM microcontroller-based data collector work for a full day on a single 190mAh battery charge
- Designing an appealing and intuitive mobile app for both major smartphone platforms (Android and iOS)
We came up with a functional setup that can be used for live testing on the field. Initial reception has been really positive especially from the designers of professional clothing. Further development can be done in the cloud infrastructure side to build tools for large scale use cases.