What Does Electronic Textile (E-Textile) Mean?
An electronic textile (E-textile) is a type of fabric that contains electronic elements. In general, the development of electronic textiles supports the idea of wearable computing, or electronic devices worked into garment designs. However, there are other applications of electronic textiles, such as interior design technologies, that also rely on integrating electronic components into fabrics or fibers.
An electronic textile may also be known as a smart textile.
Techopedia Explains Electronic Textile (E-Textile)
Within the relatively new industry around electronic textiles, projects are pursued based on various different kinds of functionality. Some electronic textile products may only be built for data storage, while others provide physical interfaces through control elements in the garment design.
In some cases, power sources such as batteries can also be integrated into clothing or fabrics. Some experts talk about the difference between embedding electronic devices in fabric, or actually layering conductive electronics into textiles to "make the fabric into the computer." For example, some projects in the works include the "musical jacket," which uses MIDI and other technologies to provide garments that generate electronic music.
Although the practical applications of this technology are very new, some projects involving electronic textiles and intelligent garments do exist now. Many of these are aimed at uses within the health care industry, where wearable computing elements can be used to monitor vital signs and otherwise track a person’s health in real time.