This is a new product category where electronics are integrated into fabrics, creating "intelligent" cloth. The applications are myriad, ranging from purely cosmetic to highly functional.

A "smartshirt" could change its color, or display different logos or text when programmed by the wearer.

A t-shirt could incorporate medical sensors to monitor a person's heart functions constantly, or sense their body chemistry by analyzing their sweat. Ditto for a hat that monitors brain function for epileptics or stroke victims.

In a military uniform, the cloth could include adaptive camouflage, or at least be able to change pattern and color for different environments, and include heating or cooling capability. A combat uniform and boots could also include piezo- or thermoelectric materials to power the soldier's gear. This could also extend to civilian clothes powering the owner's computer-watch or PDA.

A computer or music player could even be integrated into a jacket. How about a TV screen on your sleeve?

What about clothing that could change its size, cut, or fit? How about self-cleaning suit, with you in it?

As the technology improves, all of these applications and more will be addressed. There are already products available with fiber-optics woven in, and clothes like the Scott E-vest that have vias for cables and specialty pockets for personal electronics sewn in.

Some sites to check out:

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