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'Wearable' electronics for Gen next

Underwear that heats itself, suits with a hands-free telephone and iPod integration and "know where jackets" with integral navigation aids.

india Updated: Mar 16, 2006 14:08 IST

Underwear that heats itself, suits with a hands-free telephone and iPod integration and "know where jackets" with integral navigation aids are some of the "wearable electronics" on display at the CeBIT trade show in Hanover.

Everything is possible when IT meets fashion, as creative young designers and technicians have demonstrated at the world's biggest computer exhibition. The potential risk of electromagnetic radiation from mobile phones is something which designers like Oliver Stollbrock of the Fashion Innovation Service have taken into account.

"There's no absolute proof it's harmful but I'm not willing to try it out on my body," he says.

That's why the inside pocket of his new sports jacket is lined with a fabric that has a high silver content and allows it to filter out electromagnetic signals.

A firm called Warmx is displaying underwear that makes use of silver-plated fibres that warm themselves up with the help of a tiny battery when they come into contact with the skin.

"A thermostat switches off the heat when it reaches a certain temperature," says Stollbrock.

Another firm called Solartex is testing ways to integrate into clothing solar cells that could supply power to gadgets like MP3 players.

First Published: Mar 16, 2006 14:08 IST