|Future Market, Hall 9, Booth A22|
|Electronic Clothing - Interactive Wear AG Ignites a Fireworks Display of Innovations for CeBIT 2006|
|[[Backgrounder on Wearable Electronics (pdf)]]
Andreas Röpert, CEO of Interactive Wear AG, said: “Acceptance of wearable electronics applications has grown tremendously over the past two years. Currently, for instance, what is now already the third generation of wearable jackets from the manufacturer O’Neill is making its way into retail stores – with a hands-free/Bluetooth telephone and iPod integration. Interactive Wear’s area of expertise lies in determining how to best split up the individual electronic components used in jackets that offer such capabilities (or in other textile products, such as vests or backpacks), miniaturizing these components as necessary, optimizing power input, and interlinking all these elements using a network of signaling and power-supply lines that are integrated into the fabric. In this way – together with our technology partners – we optimize, for instance, sensors, keypads, MP3 players, video cameras, GPS systems, speakers, microphones, power supplies and many other components to meet the special requirements of textile integration. The advantages of this type of integration for numerous application scenarios are obvious. The overall system that has been integrated into the garment has been miniaturized and is up to 30% lighter than standalone solutions. It can be worn comfortably and unpretentiously, and it is easy to operate, protected, and safe (which makes it less susceptible to problems) – and it is practically “impossible to lose.”
The “Know Where Jacket” – The GPS/Galileo Demo Jacket That Knows Where It Is
Besides a cellular phone, an mp3 player, headphones, a microphone and a water-tight and impact-resistant sleeve keypad as well as an emergency call button, all the electronics have been integrated for a terminal that is referred to as a “GPS eye,” which is used for determining and transmitting positional data that is used particularly for determining the location of people. In this way, it is not only possible to determine the location of the jacket’s wearer with GPS accuracy, but it is also possible for GPSoverIP to even enable real-time determination of the person’s location within a building. Compared to conventional solutions that are not integrated into garments, the integration of the active GPS antenna into the epaulette on the jacket’s shoulder always ensures optimum reception of GPS signals. Areas of application for the Know Where solution are nearly unlimited and range from luxury, entertainment and leisure applications (climbing or biking in the mountains, sailing, etc.) to safety and medical device technology, and extend to applications in traffic and logistics.
Hands-free: Filming your own “Threesixty” Jump!
The video backpack from O’Neill’s h.3 series is an upgraded communication & entertainment backpack from this manufacturer with safe, impact- and water-resistant storage space for a camcorder, as well as a flexibly mountable miniature camera for connection to the video camera, for instance for use as a helmet camera. It is likely that this wearable solution will be extremely well received, particularly in the area of sport/fun applications. After all, what sport freaks wouldn’t like to film their own latest kite surfing adventure, most dangerous free-climbing tour, or “360” acrobatics in a snowboard halfpipe? Without increased risk of a fall, athletes can then show their friends all these experiences afterwards.
Augmented Reality Vest Shows Technicians What to Do
Augmented Reality (AR) is not new, particularly in the automotive industry, where this technology is used to link the virtual world with the real one. AR can be used, for example, to guide a mechanic through a repair procedure. When wearing a pair of head-mounted display (HMD) glasses, mechanics can be provided with additional three-dimensional information, which enables them to see beyond the real environment to view virtually animated components, tools, or instructions (Hall 9, Booth A60).
New here is the integration of all the individual electronics components and systems that are required for AR into a vest. Until now, this technology usually had to be stored inconveniently in bags and then wired in a way that is relatively susceptible to disturbances and that hinders movement. This wearable computing integration, however, provides new degrees of freedom. Other conceivable areas of application include industrial production, medical device technology (AR operations) as well as nearly all areas of research and development.
Cooperation with International Technology Companies Brings Success
The “Know Where Jacket” demonstration model is the result of the smooth cooperation in a partnership of international technology companies.
Interactive Wear AG developed the overall concept on the basis of its standard P100 technology platform (integrated mp3-Player with a Bluetooth interface for mobile telephony as well as integrated fabric keypad control) and took care of the application-specific adaptations.
The company austriamicrosystems AG contributed the multimedia chip for Interactive Wear’s P100 platform – which is the core of the MP3 player for the GPS jacket as well as the “O’Neill Hub 1” and “Rosner MP3-Blue” products.
Elektrisola Feindraht, a manufacturer of textile wire material, wove special flexible wire into textile bands for the internal wiring of the GPS system (antenna to module, power supply, emergency call button).
Based on the suggestions from Interactive Wear, GPSoverIP GmbH divided up the GPSeye into individual components and prepared them for textile integration. Furthermore, the company implemented the hosting for the tracking as well as the integration with different map providers extending all the way to Google Earth.
Antenna specialist Hirschmann provided the antennas for the GPSeye.
As a leading textile institute, the Hohenstein Institutes are conducting a variety of research and innovation projects in the area of wearable electronics. They support Interactive Wear when it comes to qualifying textiles and electronic components.
Lodenfrey Service GmbH has already gained a great deal of expertise in the area of manufacturing garments with integrated electronics. This partner for textile development and service took on responsibility for drafting the design and producing small lots of the “Know Where Jackets.”
Finally, Plasmadesign, a Swiss design agency, took care of designing the ergonomic shape of the P100 housing and the docking station, and developed logos.
The Anwendungszentrum Oberpfaffenhofen provided support to the companies Interactive Wear AG and GPSoverIP within the framework of the “High-Tech Offensive” (HTO) of the German State of Bavaria and contributed its expertise in the area of business development for GPS/Galileo technology.
About Anwendungszentrum Oberpfaffenhofen
In keeping with its motto “Navigate Your Business to an Emerging Market,” Anwendungszentrum GmbH (the Oberpfaffenhofen Application Center) brings together companies, founders and research establishments that have a desire to develop and market new products and services based on navigation, or to integrate these into their business processes. Target customers profit from the benefits of a regional cluster of expertise. Right from the outset, company founders are integrated into an industrial and research network that provides support during product launch and subsequent introduction on the market. The unique link to the German Aerospace Center (DLR) offers companies that settle in this area a favorable environment for cooperation in research and development projects. Experts from industry, research, management and marketing support startups from the initial idea right up to a successful product launch. Furthermore, the company also boasts its own trade fair platform in the form of the “Satellite Navigation Area” at the SYSTEMS International Trade Fair for Information Technology and Telecommunications (run by Messe München GmbH). For more information, please visit the website at http://www.anwendungszentrum.de
austriamicrosystems is a leading designer and manufacturer of high performance analog ICs (integrated circuits). The company combines more than 20 years of analog design experience and system know-how with its own state-of-the-art manufacturing and test facilities. austriamicrosystems leverages its expertise in low power and high accuracy to provide industry-leading customized and standard analog products. Operating worldwide with more than 800 employees, austriamicrosystems focuses on the areas of power management, sensors & sensor interfaces, portable audio and car-access systems through its business units Communications, Industry & Medical, Automotive and Full Service Foundry. austriamicrosystems is listed on the SWX Swiss Exchange in Zurich (ticker symbol: AMS). For more information, please visit the web site at http://www.austriamicrosystems.com
About Elektrisola Feindraht AG
The Swiss company Elektrisola Feindraht AG is part of the German Elektrisola-Group, which has plants in Germany, Italy, Switzerland, the USA, Malaysia, Mexico and China. The Elektrisola Group is the world’s largest manufacturer of ultrathin enamel-coated wire with diameters from 0.01 to 0.15 mm. Since 1968, Elektrisola has been producing fine enameled wire made of different metals and alloys at its facilities in Escholzmatt, Switzerland. These specialty wires are used primarily in a wide variety of applications in the field of electronics. The main areas of application are in the watch-making industry (step motors), the automotive industry (ignition coil, anti-block systems, AC systems), the computer industry (hard disk drives), and above all in the electrical and electronics industry (contactors, relays, print relays, low-power motors). For more then seven years now, ultrafine Elektrisola wires have also been used in textile applications. The Swiss plant is responsible for production and sales in the Textile Wire sector. The main applications are: Fashion, shielding of electromagnetic radiation (EMC), electrostatic discharge (ESD) and smart textiles. Further information is available at http://www.textile-wire.ch
About GPSoverIP GmbH
GPSoverIP GmbH is a subsidiary of the company Netzwerk GmbH of Schweinfurt, Germany, which has been on the market since 1996. With a total of 19 employees, the service technology specialist GPSoverIP GmbH provides the GPSoverIP technology. GPSoverIP commissions production of the hardware, the GPSeye, by a well-known high-tech device manufacturer in Germany. Further information is available at http://www.gpsoverip.de
About Hirschmann Car Communication GmbH
The Hirschmann Group has brought together its expertise in the area of automotive electronics in the company Car Communication GmbH, which is located in Neckartenzlingen, Germany. The product range extends from transmission and reception systems for original equipment customers, through an extensive array of retrofit antennas, to ready-made coaxial cables for connecting antennas to terminal equipment. Customers include leading automakers and major automotive suppliers as well as industrial companies, car accessory dealers and telecommunications distributors. In the field of telematics systems, Hirschmann’s product range primarily addresses industrial customers by offering antennas that combine GPS with other services (such as mobile communications, wireless LAN or Bluetooth). Antennas of this kind are used for such purposes as satellite tracking of vehicles, machines and containers. Hirschmann Car Communication has production sites in Germany and Hungary and subsidiaries in France and the USA. In 2004, the company, with a staff of about 600 employees world wide, achieved a turnover of just under 100 million euros. For more information, please visit the web site at http://www.hirschmann.de
About Hohenstein Institutes
The Hohenstein Institutes make up an internationally recognized research and service centre. Companies and businesses all along the entire textile chain, as well as in numerous other related areas, benefit from the skills of the Hohenstein experts in research, development, testing, consulting, certification and all types of training. The Hohenstein Institutes offer manufacturers, retailers, service providers and consumers “competence from one single source” that covers a wide range of distinct, but closely linked fields of work. The result of this interdisciplinary approach is successful cooperation with other research institutes from sectors such as medicine, electronics and microsystem technology. These networks open up totally new areas of application for textile products and thus provide the Hohenstein Institutes’ clients with additional markets and opportunities for the future. For more information, please visit the web site at http://www.hohenstein.de
About Lodenfrey Service GmbH
Ever since Lodenfrey’s founding in 1842 in Munich, Germany, the company has been manufacturing and selling traditional clothing – and outdoor clothing products. The group of companies has only been able to become over 160 years old and remain a family-owned business by constantly implementing innovative products and processes. The youngest “child” of this group of companies is Lodenfrey Service GmbH, which for several years now has been earning a solid reputation as an innovative manufacturer in the area of “smart clothing” and “wearable electronics.” Here, the many years of experience as a manufacturer of fine clothing is coupled with specific interdisciplinary expertise in the integration of electronic components in clothing products. Lodenfrey Service GmbH views itself as a partner that brings its wealth of special experience to cooperative projects. It purposely does not act independently on the market. For more information contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Plasmadesign (good concept is good business is good design) is specialized in the fields of interaction design and human-centered design. In cooperation with customers, the company develops innovation strategies and implements them in tangible products and in interactive solutions and services. Deep involvement in the Swiss research community makes it possible to rapidly match new technological opportunities to the market’s requirements. Further information is available at: http://www.plasmadesign.ch
|About Interactive Wear
Interactive Wear AG concentrates on the integration of electronic functions, components and systems into textile products and has one of the world’s leading platforms for wearable electronics technology at its disposal. The company has positioned itself as an electronics specialist for the textile industry as well as a textile specialist for the electronics industry. As a one-stop shop, Interactive Wear covers all developmental and production phases in the “wearable electronics” area – from consulting to custom development projects and all the way to the delivery of complete products that are ready for volume sales. For OEMs and ODMs, Interactive Wear supplies tailored production solutions. Besides fashion trends, the target markets primarily include sportswear and healthwear, safety clothing and protective workwear. Further information is available at http://www.interactive-wear.com