Sensatex is an e-textile startup that is creating shirts that can be used to monitor soldier location and status in the battlefield, according to Ari Reubin, a senior vice president of business development for the company. One of the biggest problems for medics is locating a soldier’s wound and determining his vital signs amidst battlefield chaos. A uniform that monitors a soldier’s vital signs can wirelessly relay the exact location of the wound, saving a lot of valuable time–and lives. In the fourth quarter of this year, Sensatex will begin selling to hospitals a shirt designed for premature babies that can monitor vital signs and heat or cool the infant by up to .03 degrees Celsius. Sensatex’s future plans include a “SmartShirt” that monitors heart rate, EKG, and torso penetration.
Others companies like Polartec have created jackets that heat up, using electrical conduits in the jacket itself. And Burton–the purveyor of must-have snowboard fashions–will introduce a jacket in October that contains a minidisc player sewn into the fabric with player controls woven onto the arm.