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Our Future Clothing may be Able to Hear Sounds and Even Communicate

Engineers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), in collaboration with the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), have developed an acoustic fabric capable of interacting with its wearer. The discovery could potentially improve the daily lives of millions of people around the world.

The fabric developed by this team of scientists has the ability to function like a microphone, “converting sound first into mechanical vibrations, then into electrical signals, similarly to how our ears hear.”  Incredible as it may seem, a jacket may eventually act like an ear, detecting everyday sounds, such as a car engine, to alert a hearing-impaired person to potential danger. 

And that’s not the only use people could make of this smart fabric, as revealed in the researchers’ paper, published in the journal, Nature.

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