Researchers Create Fabric That Can Hear Sounds

It has been established that technology and innovation crossed the threshold from surprising to mind-boggling a long time ago. From 3D printers to virtual reality gaming, every year humans create something that proves that the future is here. Joining the list is something new: a fabric you can hear through! Read on to know more about this ingenious innovation.

The Design

Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Rhode Island of Designs have worked together to create a sound-hearing fabric. The garment is created by weaving the fabric with piezoelectric fiber, which when exposed to sound waves, creates electric signals. To test the fabric’s workability, the team clapped at different angles from the garment to see how well it can detect the sound. According to MIT researcher Grace Noel, the fabric was able to detect sound to an angle of within one degree from a distance of up to 3 meters. The fabric can also be machine washed, so it is ingenious and handy.

The Future Implications

According to the scientists, this invention could have long-reaching and varied future possibilities. The fabric, which can pick up noises like birds chirping, human speech, and something as slight as the leaves rustling has a sound performance that is at par with commercial microphones. The researchers also tested whether it could act as a stethoscope, by sewing a single fiber into a shirt’s inner lining. This could lead to the fabric being used in materiality clothes as a way to monitor a baby’s heartbeat. The cloth could also help people who have trouble hearing as it can amplify sounds and it could also be used to detect building cracks and monitor fish by being woven in a net. In the future, the researchers also plan to expand into information storage and signal processing using the fabric.