Your shirt might soon be able to turn on the lights and music, in addition to wicking away bacteria and sweat.
Researchers from Purdue University have developed a fabric innovation that allows wearers to control electronic devices through the clothing.
According to the researchers, the waterproof, antibacterial and breathable material is based on "omniphobic tribolectic nanogenerators -- which use embroidery and fluorinated molecules to embed tiny electronic components that turn clothing into a remote control for electronic devices.
"It is the first time there is a technique capable to transform any existing cloth item or textile into a self-powered e-textile containing sensors, music players or simple illumination displays using simple embroidery without the need for expensive fabrication processes requiring complex steps or expensive equipment," Ramses Martinez, an assistant professor in the School of Industrial Engineering, said in a press statement.
The researchers are looking for partners to test and potentially commercialize the technology.
"While fashion has evolved significantly during the last centuries and has easily adopted recently developed high-performance materials, there are very few examples of clothes on the market that interact with the user," Martinez explained. "Having an interface with a machine that we are constantly wearing sounds like the most convenient approach for a seamless communication with machines and the Internet of Things."
Their work was published in Advanced Functional Materials.