NUS team develops smart suit wirelessly powered by a smartphone
A team of researchers from NUS has developed a smartphone-powered suit capable of providing athletes with physiological data such as their posture, running gait and body temperature while they are out on the field. The current technology used to monitor athlete performance range from small wearable fitness trackers to elaborate clinical monitoring equipment. Fitness trackers are compact and lightweight but are only able to collect data from a single point which is insufficient to generate meaningful insights. Clinical monitoring equipment can incorporate multiple sensors to capture data from various points on the athlete’s body, but are mired in tangles of wires and is too bulky to be used outdoors. The ideal system would allow researchers to collect data from multiple sensors at different points on the athlete’s body in an outdoor environment while keeping bulk, weight and wires to an absolute minimum.
Led by Assistant Professor John Ho, a team from the NUS Institute for Health Innovation and Technology, designed the pattern of the web-like threads to relay electromagnetic signals from a nearby smartphone to sensors on the body as far as a metre away, providing power and data connectivity across the suit. The team took about two years to develop the technology and its research findings were published in Nature Communications earlier this year, where they proved that it was possible to relay a smartphone’s near-field communication (NFC) signal to different locations on the body with specially designed inductive patterns.
(Content and Image Courtesy: https://news.nus.edu.sg/research/nus-develops-smart-suit-wirelessly-powered-smartphone)