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Smart Textiles

Students design fabric for charging mobile phones

Four students from Aalborg University in Denmark have designed a smart fabric technology which aims to make mobile phones and other hand held devices truly mobile.  Students Hans Christian Thiesen, Mads Gydegaard, Morten Ydefeldt and Marius Koppang were awarded the prize for their project involving a fabric which can charge mobile computers, mobile phones and other electrical devices. The fabric automatically charges a mobile

16th May 2011

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Herning

Sports/​Outdoor, Protective, Medical/Hygiene, Clothing/​Footwear, Transport/​Aerospace, Interiors

Students from Aalborg University have designed a smart fabric called Powertex which charges mobile phonesFour students from Aalborg University in Denmark have designed a smart fabric technology which aims to make mobile phones and other hand held devices truly mobile.  Students Hans Christian Thiesen, Mads Gydegaard, Morten Ydefeldt and Marius Koppang were awarded the prize for their project involving a fabric which can charge mobile computers, mobile phones and other electrical devices.

The fabric automatically charges a mobile phone or computer when they are placed on it and can be integrated into mats and table covers. Upholstery fabrics for seating are considered a key area of application.Competing with 54 other entries from 17 countries, the novel smart textile product, called Powertex, won the Future Textiles International Prize Competition 2011, earning the students 6500 EUR in prize money.  

The competition aims to promote smart textiles and shines the spotlight on Denmark as a pioneer in the field. The prize ceremony took place at TEKO Design + Business, VIA University College, in Herning Denmark.

Powertex fabric to replace mobile phone chargerMarius Koppang and Mads Gydegaard from Aalborg UniversityPowertex is said to be an ideal practical solution for meetings, as participants will be able to charge and use their laptops and mobiles without using power leads or adaptors. Another suggested application is the use of Powertex as an upholstery fabric in public transport systems and in public buildings and airports.

Passengers or users will simply place their mobile devices on the seat in order to charge it."Our goal is to be free from cords and a whole collection of adaptors and to give users the possibility to recharge their gadgets on the go,"  the winning team, which studies industrial design at Aalborg University, said.When the winner was announced, member of the winning team from Aalborg University, Marius Koppang said: "It's just euphoric! You had the biggest butterflies when they said it was someone from Aalborg University - and then Powertex - Ooh! Ah! "

Commenting on the joy of winning, Marius said: "It was just beautiful - I hadn't experienced it before - it was beautiful - just awesome!"

Grow Green project aims to make a difference

The four young Danes were in a close battle against two German students from Henrike Von Besser and Jennifer Elze from Hochschule Niederrhein in Mönchengladbach. Henrike Von Besser and Jennifer Elze's Grow Green project involved developing a smart knitted spacer fabric which aims to make it possible to grow plants in areas where, for example, soil conditions are poor.

Suggested applications for Grow Green are in drought areas and in highly developed urban areas. Grow Green fabrics contain all the necessary nutrients in order to help make plants grow and the two committed young Germans, who are keen to use their Grow Green concept to make a real difference in the world, commented:"All you need is water and seeds.

Grow Green will be able to produce crops and food in deserts and refugee camps, and thereby be an important element in fighting poverty and hunger."Other shortlisted entries for the competition were ‘Health Caring Fabrics', a smart fabric with antibacterial properties,  which warns hospital staff via light emission when particular bacterial levels rise above certain levels; and ‘Evanesce' an intelligent curtain which darkens only when and where it is hit by sunlight, actively adjusting the illumination of a room.

Pioneering Denmark Director Hanne Troels Jensen from Knowledge center for Smart Textiles together with the four winners of the prize competition in smart textiles. Far right Mr Svend Aage Færch Nielsen, CEO of Ege Carpets, and the sponsor of the 6500 EUR prize.

The competition was part of a wider three week series of Future Textiles events hosted by the Knowledge Center for Smart Textiles at TEKO, VIA University College. TEKO is situated in the Danish textiles hub of Herning, which has a long and rich textiles and clothing heritage.

Director Hanne Troels Jensen was impressed by the many international entries in the competition:"We received more than 50 entries presenting designs combining textiles and technology. We received many exiting projects, and I am sure that many of them will be put into production within a few years."

"The large interest for the prize competition proves that there is a growing international interest in smart textiles".Hanne says she is convinced that we soon will see a boom in smart textiles, including in regular fashion clothing, and thinks that Denmark has the potential to become a pioneer in the field.

"Some of the things that we see emerging right now are smart clothes that cannot crease and which are dirt, sweat and cold-repellant. The technology is already there, but we must be on our toes, if we in Denmark want to be an important international player," Hanne says.

Judged by international experts The winning Powertex team fro Aalborg UniversityIn addition to the prize competition, Future Textiles also included an expert summit from 11-13 May, where 45 international experts within smart textiles came to Herning, Denmark. Among the participants were representatives from Philips, Kvadrat and Adidas.

The objective for the summit was to create networks across industries and borders and to decide on a ‘declaration' for future work within smart textiles. The participants were researchers within chemistry, nano-technology, electronics and textiles as well as representatives for leading international companies within the design, production and marketing of clothing and textiles.The 45 experts gathered in Herning, chose Powertex as the winner from four shortlisted projects in the international prize competition.

Further information

For further information can be obtained from Mrs. Hanne Troels Jensen, Director of Knowledge Center for Smart Textiles, TEKO, VIA University College - tel. +45 8755 0547, e-mail: [email protected]

 

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