Stress measuring vest

wearable_sensor.jpgWe are all stressed at some point just how stressed, we can’t quantify objectively. This will change very soon according a press release from Fraunhofer-Institut für Zuverlässigkeit und Mikrointegration when the textile stress sensor vest becomes reality.

From sports training to computer games, our garments will register the electrical excitation of the muscles at any given time and determine the level of physical stress.

The textile sensor is part of the EU’s CONTEXT project where companies and research institutes teamed up to develop a comfortable vest that will read muscle tension and deduce stress levels at any given time.

At the core of the vest are sensors woven into the fabric that register the electrical excitation of the muscle fibers and thin conducting metallic fibers that pass the signals to an electronic analysis system.

Some of the ideas the project team can imagine as use of the textile sensor is for a computer game vest to control objects on the screen by muscle tension (may be something to get you in shape), or use this sensor to lift heave loads assisted by robotic arms controlled by imagine/contract you muscles. The most interesting application idea: sports coaches could tell from the electronic vest whether athletes have reached their performance limits or still possess energy reserves. This one might not always be the favorite sportswear for some of our athletes.

‘The most important requirement for everyday use is a robust electronic system,’ says Torsten Linz of the Fraunhofer Institute for Reliability and Microintegration IZM in Berlin, the partner responsible for the ‘packaging’. The entire electronic system has to be resistant to water and perspiration. The electric conductors must not fray even after repeated laundry cycles, and the sensors must be no larger than buttons to ensure that the garment is comfortable.

I am looking forward to get this technology into my T-shirt to tell me to slow down in the ‘mission critical’ projects in my office life.

Read the complete press release.


  1. Dear Sir / Madam,

    Perhaps you have heard of the Yukon Quest or Iditarod. A +1000 miles Dog Sled race with 14-16 dogs, 1 Musher (sleddog driver) and the icy wilderness of Alaska. When Grizzlies hibernate, Northern Lights decorate the sky and days become nights, mushers try to cover this distance as fast as they can. Sixteen brave dogs and their master are put up to the test.

    Sam Deltour, ° 2 January, 1985 (Medical Student University Leuven, Belgium) is not a rookie anymore. He is a very active athlete and the first Belgian Iditarod finisher in 2008 (the other 1000 mile race in Alaska).

    Sam and his team are preparing new races for 2010 (Yukon Quest and Iditarod). Passion, hard work and an inexhaustable motivation helps them to pursue their dream. From October 2009 on, a 24/7 training schedule will start with more than 3000 miles of mushing in one of the world’s last unspoiled, pure natural environments: Alaska.

    As medical student with profound interest in the human physiology in extreme environments, Sam and his team are interested in biosignals acquisition during his training and race episodes in order to join researchers and practitioners from multiple areas of knowledge, including biology, medicine, engineering interested in studying and using models and techniques inspired from or applied to biological systems in these cold environments. A diversity of signal types can be interesting in this area, including image, audio and biological sources of information. The analysis and use of these signals are based on signal processing, pattern recognition and computational intelligence techniques, amongst others. ECG, EEG, temperature, etc monitoring of the sleddog racer are the principal components of interest.

    Which company is interested to sponsor our team and use our races as test environment?

    Cheers Dr. S. Van Poucke, MD

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