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Smart shirt that can call for help

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posted on Oct, 12 2004 @ 02:39 PM
SINGAPORE (CNN) -- The term smart clothing is taking on a whole new meaning, thanks to a creation that raises an alarm if the wearer has a fall.

Associate Professor Francis Tay, from the mechanical engineering department at the National University of Singapore, has invented the "Memswear" device, so-called because it uses Micro Electro Mechanical Systems (Mems) engineering.

Mems are machines built on such a tiny scale that they are invisible to the human eye.

Tay's prototype is fitted with a small silicon detector, similar to the silicon chips in personal computers, which senses if the wearer has a fall.

Then, using Bluetooth technology, which transmits information wirelessly, a transmitter inside the shirt sends an alert from the wearer's mobile phone or home computer to a carer via text message, email or phone call.

"The transmitter is so small and light that you can put it in a piece of clothing. The sensor works in a similar way to an airbag sensor in a car steering wheel," he says.

"It can be taken out so that the clothing can be washed."

Tay says he hopes his device will be available to buy in the near future, for about $60.

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