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Tom Martin, also a computer engineer at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, says, "E-textiles are a way for us to build wearable computers that look like normal clothing to build pervasive computing devices that fit in seamlessly with the environment."
Researchers also hope wearable computers will help save lives. "We can tell what activity that person is doing. That sort of information is extremely valuable when we're trying to monitor someone with a chronic illness such a heart condition," Jones says. And monitoring your every step is something clever clothing can watch a little easier.
Researchers plan on developing more smart clothes to integrate computers into shirts, hats and gloves.