The “acoustic fabric” is woven with a fiber that is designed from a “piezoelectric” material that produces an electrical signal when bent or mechanically deformed, providing a means for the fabric to convert sound vibrations into e Credit: Greg Hren
Fabric that can "hear" one's heartbeat via high-tech fibers has been developed by scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The tech could also be used on clothes worn by pregnant women to help them pick up their baby's heartbeat.
This potentially revolutionary tech could give rise to wearable hearing aids and clothes that can speak to each other. It works by first converting sounds into mechanical vibrations before they are converted again into electrical signals, similar to how the ear works. All fabrics vibrate in response to sounds, although these responses are normally far too small to be audible.
Researchers stitched a single fiber to a shirt's inner lining, just over the chest region, and found it accurately detected the heartbeat of a healthy volunteer, along with subtle variations in the heart's "lub-dub" features. They say the possibilities for the new technology are endless.
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