In a precedent, a team of scientists is currently working on developing a smart T-shirt that can “hear” your heartbeat and monitor its rhythm in real-time.
Scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Rhode Island School of Design noted that the shirt was developed using an “acoustic fabric” that acts as a microphone, first converting sound into mechanical vibrations and then into electrical signals, in a way similar to the way our ears hear, according to the newspaper. The British Daily Mail, on the scientific journal Nature.
They also revealed that when worn, the shirt would be able to detect the wearer’s precise heartbeat features in real-time.
However, no details have been released about the potential cost because the shirt is still in the development stage.
Professor Wei Yan, who leads the team of scientists, explained that the textile fibers were designed from a “piezoelectric” material that produces an electrical signal when subjected to bending and pressure, providing a way for the shirt to convert sound vibrations into electrical signals.
He also added that “this tissue can interact imperceptibly with human skin, which enables the wearer to monitor the condition of the heart and respiratory system in a convenient, continuous and real-time manner.”
One of the team, Yoel Fink, saw the potential of incorporating this “acoustic fabric” also into pregnant women’s clothing to help monitor a fetus’s heartbeat, on spacecraft surfaces to hear how space dust builds up, or in buildings to detect cracks and crevices.