The Institute - June 2019 - 10

Smart Clothes
continued from page TI-8 |

produced on a limited scale, Jur says.
Workers at small job shops piece
together the garment sections containing the electronics from small batches.
Until the garments can be mass-produced,
they'll remain pricey.
"We've been using things like direct-write
printing, which is a form of 3D printing on
textiles," Jur says. "We have also been
exploring ink-jet printing of conductive materials, as well as incorporating
dielectric and polymer semiconducting
materials onto textiles."

career guidance


This article originally appeared online as "Smart
Clothing Could Soon Be Part of Your Wardrobe."


JUN 2019



Why Companies
Need Engineers
With an Artistic Bent
PEOPLE WITH the ability

to combine their engineering
and scientific skills with their
understanding of art, literature,
music, and other creative works
have introduced popular products
and spawned billion-dollar
industries. They've also made our
lives a bit more enjoyable.
Take, for example, IEEE
Member Alvy Ray Smith, the
digital graphics pioneer who
helped found Pixar. The
company produced the first
computer-animated feature
film, Toy Story, and has since been
winning over audiences of all ages

with such blockbusters as Monsters
Inc., The Incredibles, and Cars.
Pixar received the 2018 IEEE
Corporate Innovation Award.
The H910 Harmonizer,
invented by IEEE Life Member Anthony Agnello, is a digital
audio effects processor that
gives musicians and producers
flexibility by letting them, for
example, change the pitch of an
instrument, delay a sound, or
have it repeat. Agnello's work
was recognized with a 2018 Technical Grammy Award.
Life Fellow Amar G. Bose
founded Bose Corp., the audio


Another challenge facing the makers of
smart garments is the shortage of textile
engineers and designers, according to Jur,
who says he is being bombarded by companies looking to hire.
"This particular field requires a
unique skill set," he says. "Engineers
and designers need to know early-stage
development to be able to translate the
company's idea for how to fabricate a
smart garment, or explain how to apply
new electronic textile techniques to
improve a garment's durability."
But he urges caution for those who
are interested in entering the industry:
Because the smart-garment field is so hot
right now, a lot of companies that contact
Jur for help are not being methodical
about product development-starting,
for example, with developing an understanding of customer needs and whether
there's a market for a particular garment.
"They think that if they create the product, the customer base will automatically
appear," he says. "A lot of times, that's just
not the case."
It's not until the company has a specification document that includes pricing
information that textile engineers can try
to determine what materials or processes
can meet those requirements.
"Product development is nothing new,"
Jur notes, "but it just seems there are a lot of
companies that are not following the general
practices and are failing before they start."

The Institute - June 2019

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