Revolutionary Next Generation Connected Clothing

Asha Thompson, Director and Co-founder of ITL

Asha Thompson, Director and Co-founder of ITL

A revolutionary piece of new wearable technology which can turn clothing into networked technology is set to begin production.

Intelligent Textiles Limited is one of the companies that has received an SBRI contract from the MoD. Its solution to reduce the load carried by soldiers our on patrol was to use woven conductive textiles to replace the conventional wiring harnesses that carry power between a soldier’s systems and devices.

broadswordBroadsword(r) Spine(r) has been designed specifically as an alternative to the heavy portable data and power supplies currently carried by military and emergency service personnel. Our Company has agreed an exclusive new partnership with world-leading e-textiles developer, Intelligent Textiles Limited (ITL), to deliver the ground-breaking wearable product in high volumes at low cost.

Broadsword(r) Spine(r) is an e-textile based layer that when added to a user’s clothing creates an invisible electronic network and power supply, by using conductive fabrics instead of wires and cables. With the innovative network, users can plug vital electronic devices straight into their vest, jacket or belt and have them instantly hooked into power and data via USB – all delivering an estimated 40 per cent weight saving per user versus alternative solutions.

Working together, our Company and ITL will be ready to deliver these lightweight devices to personnel including the armed forces, fire and rescue services and law enforcement, all of whom rely on carrying electronic equipment and having a durable power supply for long periods of use.

Broadsword(r) Spine(r) is also designed to be robust enough to operate in the harshest environments, including being resistant to water, fire, humidity and shock – and can be easily recharged in the field via in-vehicle charging points or through simple battery replacements.

Paul Burke, Defence Information and Technology Director within Military Air and Information said: “Broadsword(r) Spine(r) will deliver a lightweight, cable free and better alternative to existing systems. It is the first product of our partnership with ITL and uses its revolutionary e-textile allowing power and data to move thr ough fabric. It will be more flexible, robust and lighter than the heavy, unwieldy harnesses which are currently used. Broadsword(r) Spine(r) offers an open architecture, meaning it could be used to power communications used by anyone from a soldier on the battlefield to a first responder called to an emergency.”

Asha Thompson, Director and Co-founder of ITL, added: “Our partnership with BAE Systems builds on a long-standing relationship, and is our logical next step in providing our customers with a cost-effective product. It allows us to retain our agility and innovative nature for developing other technologies, yet gives Broadsword(r) Spine(r) the support of BAE Systems’ international reputation and footprint. This puts Broadsword(r) Spine(r) on a fast-track to delivering benefits to customers.”

Intelligent Textiles founded by Textile Designer Asha Peta Thompson and Engineering Lecturer Stan Swallow in 2002 as a small start-up company and received initial funding from the Centre for Defense Enterprise using the Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) which is managed by the Technology Strategy Board.

 

Intelligent Textiles is one of the companies that has received a Small Business Research Initiative contract from the Ministry of Defense (MoD). Intelligent Textiles solution to reduce the load carried by soldiers on patrol, was to use woven conductive textiles to replace the conventional wiring harnesses that carry power between a soldier’s systems and devices.