Game Changer for AR and VR:
Smart Textiles
20th September 2021
The first stereoscope.
Arcade machines. And a Sayre Glove.
We’re connected in ways – we could only imagine before.
Snapchat lenses, Microsoft HoloLens and Google maps AR navigation systems that superimpose direction and details on your display, offering a live view of the road rather than just presenting you with a map.
Are you catching the difference?
The former represents leading-edge technology in 1838- 1990. The latter is a small sampling of the impressive technologies that are currently part of the larger ecosystem in the AR and VR landscape.
We have come a long way in connecting in ways – we could only imagine before.
AR and VR experiences a Renaissance
Smart Textiles are finding a home in both virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) applications. These wearable solutions are some of the hottest multidisciplinary technology trends right now – offering the potential for interaction beyond motion and physical buttons.
By integrating technology, various sensors, graphic images, communication, measurement, control multimedia and artificial intelligence into an interactive user experience – you can create experiences unlike any other in computing.
VR implies a complete immersion experience that shuts out the physical world. VR frequently makes use of behavioral interfaces and computer programs to allow people to interact with one another and with 3D objects in a virtual environment. In contrast, AR adds digital elements to a live view, often using the camera on a smartphone or an AR headset. Simply put, VR is a total virtual experience while AR is a mixture of the real world and virtual overlays.
While AR can work on existing display screens such as smartphones and other monitors, most associate VR to its bulky head-mounted display (HMD). VR’s mimicking of the human sensory systems is often limited to audio and video channels, and requires boxy and rigid devices – limiting it’s potential to gaming, job training and 360-degree video content.
But textiles have gotten smarter.
Softmatter’s Smart Textile Solutions for AR and VR
Smart Textiles opens up a whole array of solutions to AR and VR development. By replacing its hard surfaces with smart textiles, flexible conductors for high-speed data transfer – interactive textile may provide suitable platforms for VR/AR applications because of their excellent performance and unique immersive features. They can be programmatically actuated and linked, allowing for the creation of intelligent wearables that respond to external stimuli, or user-designed patterns. Due to its lightweight, handiness, flexibility and comfort it offers low strain even under high deformations.
Possibilities range from the creation of wearable VR/AR systems for immersive experiences via motion analysis and feedback, to the utilization of stretchable fabric-based high-speed data cables for 4K video transfer.
Stretchable HSD transfer
Stretchable HSD transfer power transfer enables decoupling of XR components. Rather than forcing all of the components (camera, display, processing, and power) on the front of the head, causing imbalance and strain, the stretchable HSD conductors aid distributed computing, allowing power, processing, and other components to be relocated to appropriate locations for optimal balance and comfort for the user.
Interactive Fabric Interfaces
Interactive textile devices offer a better experience in emerging VR/AR applications with respect to other sensory interactions. They enable the wearable VR/AR system to be smaller, softer, and more comfortable, which broadens the range of their potential applications and their appeal. Touch textiles in particular can also be used to create interactive fabric surfaces. These surfaces could be used for a variety of applications, from keyboards to automobile interiors.
Apart from actuators and electrodes, an important part of textile electronics are sensors to detect stimuli. These sensors can acquire abundant information about the environment as a basis of interaction. Considering the characteristics of textiles, an integrated sensor can be flexible, durable, biocompatible, and lightweight. The sensors can be used in VR/AR systems to measure movement, pressure, temperature, and can be multifunctional. Sensory stimuli provide people with a coherent perception of the world. This, along with other perception devices, transforms perception models in the virtual world into multi-channel stimuli (e.g., tactile, visual, and audio) compatible with VR/AR systems. Textile electronic devices provide an ideal platform for users to interact with visually depicted objects or settings while simultaneously experiencing audio, video, haptic feedback, multimodal sensory inputs, and movement.
Various fabrication processes exist to create interactive textile devices. By partnering with our experienced product development team, you can:
+ Design and build from concept to production.
+ Solve unprecedented regulatory challenges while accelerating time to market.
+ Quality commitment of ISO 9001 and 13485 facilities with FDA Class I and II products in execution.
Do you want to make technology that prioritizes your user’s experience quality? Connect with Softmatter to get your AR/AR wearable device production underway.
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Softmatter is the wearable technology team of MAS Holdings (Private) Limited.
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