Conductive yarn ties batteries to gadgets through clothing

Cables are the bane of the existence of everyone with more than just one or two gadgets, and it seems like we're going to be stuck with them as long as wireless charging remains at the novelty stage. Luckily, we're surrounded by cables almost all the time (in the form of clothing), and electrifying those could be an easy way to pipe electricity to literal pocket chargers.

Intelligent Textiles, a company in Britain, has put together a prototype military uniform (pictured above) that features electrically conductive fabric capable of transmitting both power and data. We're not talking about fabric with embedded cabling, but actual conductive yarn, which means that you can cut the fabric in a bunch of places and it'll still be able to function.

So far, the fabric has been integrated into a military vest, shirt, backpack, helmet, gloves, and even a weapons platform. The eventual concept is that each solder will be able to carry (and recharge) just one single battery pack that will charge all of their stuff without any external cabling: everything will rely entirely on fabric. This thing is completely up and running and operational, and field trials are scheduled for later this year with an eye towards a 2014 or 2015 deployment. Hopefully, a big fat military contract will provide enough of a stimulus to encourage Intelligent Textiles into weaving its products into fabrics suitable for the commercial market too.

BBC, via The Verge

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