Smart Clothing and Affective Computing


(T) Over a week ago, I received an interesting article from an online magazine French District about “le vetement intelligent” or “smart clothing”…

“Il fut un temps où le pull tenait chaud, le short dévoilait vos cuisses galbées, les sous-vêtements se contentaient d’être jolis. Aujourd’hui, le vêtement s’est doté de neurones et la fibre est devenue perspicace : ils calculent votre poids, réduisent votre cellulite et même dévoilent vos sentiments. C’est à dire?”

Smart clothing is the new generation of cloth that is capable of sensing and communicating with the wearer’s environment. Obviously, to be wearable and comfortable cloth, the sensors and the actuators need to be smartly embedded into the textile. So that the smart, as it is the case for the non-smart cloth, can be easily used and maintained, and of course washable!

While the first generation of smart cloth is targeting specific usage such as sport, fitness, rehabilitation, caretaking, firefighting and so on…The next generation is likely to push the sensors to some new applications providing stimuli and responses to the wearer’s conditions and states.

Smart clothing will not only provide information, assistance and communication functions but also likely social functions. By sensing our emotions and feelings from touching and interacting with our bodies, smart clothing could be the next generation of social networks and a sweet spot for the emerging research in affective computing.

A few smart clothing and smart gloves from around the world:


Note: The picture above is from the Faubourg St Honore in Paris.

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