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Smart Clothing From Finland

Finnish scientists in Espoo are working on the latest in fashion - smart clothing that changes with you for maximum comfort in all conditions.

The group says their prototypes are some of the first to account for differences in how male and female bodies release heat. The human body reveals inner conditions in different ways and in different places depending on gender, body shape, size and other physiological factors. VTT's Human Thermal Model tool empowers the smart material to properly react to a person's individual thermal sensations.

Researchers say the new technology is accurate and dynamic, capable of ensuring optimal comfort in rapidly changing conditions -- ideal for police officers, firemen, soldiers, athletes, newborn babies and others.

Smart clothes could also help keep doctors cool during surgery.

"Hospital patients have been asked about their most unpleasant experience, and the most common answer is feeling cold -- pain comes only second," Pekka Tuomaala, principle scientist on the VTT smart clothes project

Fans of science fiction may recall the biofabrics from J.G. Ballard's 1970 short story Say Goodbye to the Wind:

The racks of gowns itched and quivered, their colors running into blurred pools. One drawback of bio-fabrics is their extreme sensitivity. Bred originally from the gene stocks of delicate wisterias and mimosas, the woven yard have brought with them something of the vine's remarkable response to atmosphere and touch. The sudden movement of someone nearby, let alone of the wearer, brings an immediate reply from the nerve-like tissues. A dress can change its color and texture in a few seconds, becoming more decollete at the approach of an eager admirer, more formal at a chance meeting with a bank manager.

This sensitivity to mood explains the real popularity of bio-fabrics. Clothes are no longer made from dead fibers of fixed color and texture that can approximate only crudely to the vagrant human figure, but from living tissues that adapt themselves to the contours and personality of the wearer. Other advantages are the continued growth of the materials, fed by the body odours and perspriration of the wearer, the sweet liqueurs distilled from her own pores, and the constant renewal of the fibers, repairing any faults or ladders and eliminating the need for washing.

Be sure to check out Ballard's related term inert-wear.

Via UPI.

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