Researchers at MIT and RISD have created a digital fiber that can store data on the body. The research is the first fiber with digital capabilities. Digital fibers can sense, store, analyze, and infer activity after being sewn into a fabric. Until now, electronic fibers have been analog — carrying a continuous electrical signal, this new technology allows for the storing of discrete bits of data in digital (1 or 0) type of format. Researchers say fibers could be used for physical performance monitoring, medical inference, and disease detection.
The fibers could be used to control individual elements of a fiber from one end to the other. Researchers say it could lead to "crazy ideas" like a wedding gown with digital wedding music. I can imagine that it could be used to store new types of video information or detect and store environmental conditions to use in VR!
The fiber is controlled by a small external device, so the next step will be to design a microcontroller that can be connected within the fiber itself. The research was supported by the U.S. Army Institute of Soldier Nanotechnologies among other prestigious agencies.
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The original article can be found on MIT News here