Tue, Nov 17, 2015 - Page 5 News List

School has high hopes for musical clothes

By Chen You-cheng and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Three students from Shu-Te University in Kaohsiung model elecronic clothing which produces music on Sunday.

Photo: Chen You-cheng, Taipei Times

Imagine going to a concert where the band members need nothing but their clothing to create the same dazzling spectacle they provided when they still carried their instruments. That dream might be coming true this year after Shu-Te University employed X-Static fiber, which emits sounds that are comparable to actual musical instruments via the transmission of digital signals, in its clothing designs.

Department of computer science and informational technology assistant professor Huang Yung-jen (黃永仁) said that a research team at the department has utilized silver in X-Static fiber to transmit signals, adding that precautions have been taken so that the wearer will not get an electric shock.

The team also ensured that the hidden sensors in the cloth are removable so that the clothes could be washed, thus enabling repeated use, Huang said.

The research group is in the process of tweaking the design, such as changing the reception device from an audio output device to portable stereo devices, Huang said.

In practice, the clothing would be able to emit sounds when it is touched by transmitting the signals to a portable device on the wearer’s belt, the university said.

Student Tsou Sheng-chuang (鄒勝壯) said he has been playing the drums for many years and using the clothing was not hard to learn.

The sound quality is comparable to that of actual instruments, which could remove the necessity of carrying around heavy instruments such as drums, Tsou said.

However, guitarist Hung Yi-shan (洪誼珊) said it was difficult for her to grasp how to play music with the clothing and she had to try it for three days before getting the hang of it.

“It’s just different without the actual instrument in my hands, but it’s a great feeling to be able to play music wherever I want to,” Hung said.

The university said it hopes its products will help to integrate entertainment and fashion with the concept of healthy living.

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