You Can Wear This Fabric Wi-Fi Antenna

Forget what you know about wearable technology. The future of wireless connectivity is going to be woven into the very threads of your clothes.

This fully textile waveguide antenna is capable of handing 2.45 and 5.4 GHz dual-band Wi-Fi, and is made entirely from flexible textiles. The heart of the device is a cell inspired by metamaterials, along with an antenna built on a felt substrate. There's also a sheet of shielding textile, designed to reduce interference of signals from the wearer.

The idea is that it could be used for military applications, to keep track of soldiers and allow quick communication in the field, or married with vital signs detectors for medical situations, to provides alerts for patients and doctors alike. It is, admittedly, still on the large side, but let's not be too picky. We are, essentially, looking at a sheet of material that handles with Wi-Fi.

Clothes are the first civilian purpose to come to mind, but the idea of flexible Wi-Fi circuitry could be used on anything that needs to be malleable, from tent canvases to ship sales. What would you use it for? [Electronics Letters via Phys Org]