Smaller electronics, smarter clothing

In a recent Gigaom article, Signe Brewster notes that a new generation of textiles is on the brink of redefining wearable technology.

To date, a great deal of wearable activity has been centered around companies like Arduino and Adafruit, both offering wearable electronic platforms powered by versatile Atmel microcontrollers (MCU).


Though we may have yet to find the easy-to-make smart textile, Brewster encourages startups wishing to do so need to find their fabric and sensors and then independently develop a way to combine them.

“What was missing until now were electronics small enough to fit into clothing the same way as a button or a single cotton fiber.” With the advent of Arduino Lilypad (ATmega328V) and Adafruit’s FLORA (ATmega32u4), we’re seeing the emergence of the softer side of wearable technology, which hides LED lights, battery packs and electronic devices in the folds of clothing fabric. With more platforms readily accessible, we can expect to see more Makers creating a next-gen of wearable gizmos.

Ever wanted a t-shirt that can send and display text messages? Now you can — thanks to the latest innovation of startup, Switch Embassy. The only “scrunchable, washable and connected t-shirt” is embedded with LED lights, each of which are woven directly into the fabric.


“Until technology, like fashion, can augment who we are in the exact way we want, it won’t be compelling enough to wear on our bodies,” Brewster concludes.

Interested in learning more about wearable tech? Check out what Atmel has been up to in this exciting, evolving space.

3 thoughts on “Smaller electronics, smarter clothing

  1. Pingback: The Good, The Bad, and The Scary Of Wearable Technology | B2B-TechCopy Technology Marketing Blog

  2. Pingback: Smart hoodie lets wearers send discrete messages | Bits & Pieces from the Embedded Design World

  3. Ali

    If you guys are going to use the tshirtOS on your site to promote ATMEL – we should probably put an ATMEL chip in the product. Send us a note and let’s talk.



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