Push-to-talk 2 my Shirt might not be as far away as we have imagined when giving our name to our wearable electronic community site back in 2006.
Finnish company Patria Aviation Oy has spent the past one and a half years to develop a flexible, fabric based antenna that can be integrated into a Shirt.
The project’s biggest challenge was the selection of a fabric which can maintain a strong radio signal even when the patch is bent vertically, horizontally or diagonally.
The flexible antenna connects to Iridium satellites whose low-altitude operations do not require large antennas and to GPS for location information.
The radiating patch antenna is shielded against environmental conditions by a protective layer. The selected geometry conforms with the stringent requirements from Iridium and GPS by maintaining ‘circular polarization’ of its radio signal over the full bandwidth even when bent, a commonly recognized difficulty in the design of soft, wearable antennas.
Patria Aviation Oy demonstrated successfully the high-tech clothing that can send and receive messages via satellite by called the Netherlands from their headquarters in Finland by using the prototype antenna.
Eventually, a communication module will be integrated into the antenna patch which would create the first thoroughly wearable cell phone in form of a dress or shirt, ultimately enabling us to: talk2myShirt.