Smart Shirt Keeps Tabs on the Heart

Researchers in the US have developed conductive nanotube fibers that, when woven into clothing, monitor the heart rate of the wearer. The researchers sewed nanotube fibres into athletic wear to monitor the heart rate and take a continual electrocardiogram (ECG) of the wearer.

According to the team, the fibers are just as conductive as metal wires and are washable, comfortable, and far less likely to break when a body is in motion. They added that the shirt they enhanced was better at gathering data than a standard chest-strap monitor taking live measurements during experiments. Other potential uses could include human-machine interfaces for automobiles or soft robotics, and ballistic protection in military uniforms.