MIT Scientist Develop a Fabric That “Hears” Your Heartbeat

Massachusetts Institute of Technology scientists have invented a fabric that uses advanced fibres to “hear” one’s pulse. The technology might also be applied to pregnant women’s clothing to assist them in detecting the heartbeat of their unborn child.

The wearable hearing aids turn mechanical vibration into electrical impulses 

Wearable hearing aids and clothing that can communicate with one another could be created thanks to this potentially revolutionary technology. Similar to how the ear functions, it functions by first turning sound into mechanical vibration and then back into electrical impulses. Although these vibrations are typically too faint to be audible, all fabrics respond to sound by vibrating.

Researchers attached a solitary fibre to the inside lining of a shirt just above the chest area and discovered that it successfully caught the healthy volunteer’s pulse as well as minute fluctuations in the heart’s “lub-dub” characteristics. They claim that the new technology has limitless potential.

Lead author Dr Wei Yan, who worked on the fibre as an MIT postdoc, believes that it can be connected with spacecraft skins to listen to increasing space dust or incorporated into structures to detect fractures or strains. Even a smart net that tracks fish in the sea could be made of it. Broad opportunities are being made possible by fibre. You could chat through the acoustic clothing you’re wearing to take calls and converse with others.

According to scientists, the cloth may be utilized to take calls and interact, as well as allow wearers to comfortably track their pulse and respiration for extended periods of time.

How does the flexible fibre detect pulse?

The group developed a flexible fibre for the research that can bend when weaved into cloth. The fabric has a method of turning sound waves into electrical signals since it is made of a substance that generates an electrical pulse when bent or under strain. It can record a wide variety of sounds and tell which way noise from abrupt sounds, like handclaps, is moving. It can recognize the minute characteristics of a wearer’s pulse when woven into the inside of a shirt.

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