Cambridge has developed a smart touchscreen based on fabric
Thanks to modern technologies, many everyday objects familiar to us are becoming “smarter”. Even ordinary textiles were no exception. A team of researchers from the University of Cambridge managed to create a 46-inch touchscreen made of fabric equipped with LEDs.
Compared to the previous “smart” fabrics, which were characterized by some one function (absorption of sunlight, reaction to touch, and others), the new smart textile is multifunctional. Its basis is fiber—based LEDs, which are activated by several input devices. Those, in turn, also consist of fibers and include various sensors that respond to light, temperature changes, touch, and others.
Smart textiles, depending on the input from these devices, displays various “pictures”, which allows it to be used, for example, as curtains, touch screens or carpets that “turn on” from the energy of people passing through them.
Since the electronic component is embedded in the fibers, a web of almost any shape can be woven from them. This was made possible thanks to a special coating that provides additional stretching and a long service life.
The result is a unique “smart” textile that can be produced on an industrial scale to create a wide variety of end products.