A firm in Sweden has been hailed for creating a tablecloth with fabric technology that has drum kit and piano keys printed on it, providing the opportunity of making every mealtime the occasion for music entertainment - Reuters reports.
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Swedish company Smart Textiles is located in Boras, and fabric specialists Li Guo and Mats Johansson created the amazing tablecloth which is now regarded as smart-fabric. The tablecloth has sensors that activate musical instruments into creating music for all around the table.
Johansson is addicted to music and Li has a doctorate in textile sensors, and currently investigating how to integrate them into garments – or combine sounds and textiles.
"The special thing is, of course, that it is all from textile technologies. We have the woven cloth but on that we added prints for the piano, we added other laminated textile structures for the drums. And these are also from knitted fabrics. And then sewing as connectors or taping, so it is all technologies that we are familiar with in textiles now used for an entertaining purpose in this case," Johansson explained.
Part of the tablecloth contains conductive fibers that are able to transmit current and convert them into signals.
Li explained that "You can see that we have several different pins here, so they are actually functioning as sensors. So when you press one you actually switch it on. And the technology behind this is sense capacitive coupling. So actually it senses any of the conductors and you know that human beings are conductors so when we put our finger on it, it actually switches on."
The smart fabric developers have not finished with the project but looks forward to determining how it can be applied to various things in the future.
Li noted that various sensors exist, and while touch sensors have been used for the smart fabric, the team is equally capable of using stretchable sensors and textile electronics that can be impacted by human heartbeats – making it useful for patients that require home-based health monitoring.
The main challenge that the developers faced while working on the project was connecting soft material with hard electronics. The team is looking into how to make fabric which is normally soft connect or integrate to main electronics, with thoughts for the electricity and power batteries.
Li predicted that smart fabrics with embedded sensors will soon become a common thing in the future, with clothing containing sensors and able to monitor and send data soon to fill the market. This smart fabric will keep the wearer healthy while also making a fashion statement.
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