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How the Move Tank Top Works


Wired for Fashion
Apply a bit of current from a battery and the material can expand and flex to “nudge” you when you make mistakes, as well as provide confirmation of your corrections.
Apply a bit of current from a battery and the material can expand and flex to “nudge” you when you make mistakes, as well as provide confirmation of your corrections.
Image courtesy Electricfoxy

Fashions come and go, but Move is meant to be useful and also to appeal aesthetically.

As Darmour notes, you don't have to follow fashion trends to appreciate the look of an. Simply by putting a garment on your body, you instinctively realize that the look of that clothing is part of the experience of wearing it. To wit, if it looks totally goofy, you'll feel weird, to the point where your workouts get weird, too. But a stylish, sleek body suit? That's an outfit that will propel you to greater confidence and better performance outfit [source: 3lectromode].

Move aims to blend fashion and electronics function. But there's still the matter of actually producing the product on a large scale. There is a tremendous challenge associated with manufacturing such novel products, because textile factories just aren't equipped to handle the integration of electronics into their fabrics. What's more, Darmour points out that electronics engineers and textile makers work in very different industries, and getting experts from these disciplines to understand each other's processes takes a lot of time and energy [source: 3lectromode].

The Move project is a moving target, with numerous prototypes and no finished versions as of January 2013. It's been in development since 2010 and there are still no consumer-ready products on the shelves. There are many reasons for that, including the high degree of complexity in blending materials that by definition require washing with electronics, which don't really appreciate water or laundry detergent.

In the meantime, the Electricfoxy team keeps tweaking its prototypes. To create these experimental models, they use a LilyPad Arduino, which is a circular microcontroller that's around 2 inches in diameter and less than 1 millimeter thick. Arduino controllers can be quickly and affordably programmed for all sorts of inventive experiments, and the LilyPad is specifically made for e-textiles and wearable products, making it perfect for the Move project. You don't need an extension cord connected to a wall outlet to make it run. LilyPad requires only a small, low-voltage battery.

So will Move ever be ready for the masses? Keep reading and you'll read more about Move's next moves.


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