Smart Garments

TE News

Connectivity woven in

Engineers at TE Connectivity's wearables lab develop tools and processes to make smart garments a reality

June 04, 2015

BERWYN, Pa.-- TE Connectivity Ltd. (NYSE: TEL), a world leader in connectivity, announced today that it has developed a proof of concept that allows traditional garment manufacturers to develop smart or connected textiles by easily integrating with the workspace and workflow used in traditional garment production. Through this process, garments produced can better survive the harsh conditions of normal wear, machine washing or dry cleaning.

 

TE developed this process at the request of the Google Advanced Technology and Projects team, helping Google Inc. introduce Project Jacquard at last week's Google I/O conference.

"Developing a smart piece of apparel using traditional garment manufacturing techniques poses a variety of challenges," said Nick Langston, head of the Wearables Lab at TE Connectivity. "An electronics factory is a very different environment than a garment factory, which is prone to high levels of dust and heat that are not optimal conditions for working with technological components. TE developed a process that leveraged the skills and tools textile workers are familiar with while ensuring that the new techniques won't compromise the connectivity of the garment."

To make it possible, TE closely collaborated with Google Inc. to develop a process using traditional garment manufacturing tools and techniques to create a smart garment.

With 26 million smart garments forecasted to be sold in the U.S. by next year, TE's work with Google comes at a critical time in the lifecycle of smart garments and textiles as they become more disruptive to the technology and garment ecosystems in the coming years.

"As the smart garment industry continues to grow and evolve, it made sense for TE to partner with Google," said John Hewitt, general manager, Data & Devices, TE Connectivity. "We are both in the early stages of developing new tools and processes that will enable the evolution of smart garments on a large scale."

TE's collaboration with Google Inc. was led by the team at TE's Wearables Lab in Menlo Park, California. Exclusively focused on wearable technologies across consumer, medical, industrial and defense businesses, the lab serves as a collaboration center for TE's team of engineers, scientists and its customers throughout the design process.

TE developed a process that leveraged the skills and tools textile workers are familiar with while ensuring that the new techniques won't compromise the connectivity of the garment."
Nick Langston,
Head of TE's Wearables Lab