By Jon Chesto Globe Staff
A consortium of colleges and businesses led by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has won a national competition to host a novel federally funded research program to turn clothing fibers and fabrics into wearable electronic devices…
“Here is a bold vision that’s not just manufacturing stuff that we know about but also enabling a whole new interpretation of the fabric industry,” said Yoel Fink, director of the MIT Research Laboratory of Electronics, who will lead the effort.
From Fink’s perspective, the possibilities are essentially endless. Clothing fibers could be designed to change color, monitor health, or even store energy.
The federal government has pledged $75 million to the effort over five years, while the Baker administration pledged to provide up to $40 million in state funds, with additional money coming from members of the consortium that could push the total contributions to more than $300 million.