Published: February 25, 2020

Wireless battery-free body sensor networks using near-field-enabled clothing (Nature Communications, Jan 2020)

Wireless battery-free body sensor networks using near-field-enabled clothing

Lin R, Kim HJ, Achavananthadith S, Kurt SA, Tan SCC, Yao H, Tee BCK, Lee JKW and Ho JS.

Abstract
Networks of sensors placed on the skin can provide continuous measurement of human physiological signals for applications in clinical diagnostics, athletics and human-machine interfaces. Wireless and battery-free sensors are particularly desirable for reliable long-term monitoring, but current approaches for achieving this mode of operation rely on near-field technologies that require close proximity (at most a few centimetres) between each sensor and a wireless readout device. Here, we report near-field-enabled clothing capable of establishing wireless power and data connectivity between multiple distant points around the body to create a network of battery-free sensors interconnected by proximity to functional textile patterns. Using computer-controlled embroidery of conductive threads, we integrate clothing with near-field-responsive patterns that are completely fabric-based and free of fragile silicon components. We demonstrate the utility of the networked system for real-time, multi-node measurement of spinal posture as well as continuous sensing of temperature and gait during exercise.

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