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The hypersuit is introduced at the beginning of Time Travelers Are Schizophrenic as the universal basic human style of clothing. The name hypersuit implies that its fabric is embedded with hyperthreads, which provide any necessary power. It is a wearable computer and a second skin.

Often worn in basic black or white, they are programmable and capable of changing colors or displaying moving patterns, such as the poetry that Kunnigunde wore when she met Sievaahdra. This also implies the capability of a form of "invisibility cloak" as well, but I only use a less powerful camouflage version in Singularities of the Soul of Stephen Xi.

Fashion and fads can now spread instantly. The fabric can shrink or expand to automatically change from full body coverage to shorts and short sleeves or revealing formal gowns. I envision my characters as usually wearing simple form-fitting black hypersuits with belts, pouches, or vests for carrying items, as if the Family of Man were in some way future "Quakers". Or perhaps it is a left-over memory of the costumes from Star Trek? Earthies and nonFom often wear second-level hypercloth as well, so that the fashions can include coats, capes, sweaters, and so on, but this is mostly ornamental.

The basic hypersuit can control not only body temperature but protect the user from solar radiation and the vacuum of space, although air helmets are required in that case as well. It can provide support to supplement the grav-steroids for humans transitioning between the different gravity levels the species now inhabits. They are tough and protect the body from scrapes and cuts, but not from impact injuries.

The hypersuits can inject drugs and monitor bodily health. Dr. Aaouen can program them to provide appropriate stimulants or sedatives during an simmerís emotisim experience.

As you see in Time Travelers Are Schizophrenic the hypersuit has an unexpected interaction with the technology used by the Fishman.

My notes go back to 2001, so this is most definitely a "near future" science fiction element. Here is a sampling of what I found. I need to update this to the current state of the art.

11/07/2006 [PC Mag] Phillips Lumileds has developed an LED fabric that can be used for gimmicky displays, including giant couches that display the time or T-shirts that flash "Iím with stupid!"

8/22/2006 [PC Mag] Watching Over You: Does an onboard doctor lie in your bodyís future? Several companies are ... working on wearable gadgets that can track your health in real time - and communicate relevant data to other devices. Exmocareís Bluetooth-enabled biosensor wristwatch measures its wearerís pulse, heart-rate variations, and skin conductance, along with monitoring the subjectís activity level via GPS and an accelerometer. It can send wireless updates from the elderly to caregivers, or from a wounded soldier to comrades. ... The SenseWear armband from BodyMedia records physiological data and organizes the info into graphs, showing energy expenditure, level of physical activity, number of steps taken, and sleep/wake states. Next-gen versions of these devices now being developed could play a key role in early detection of cancer and other diseases.

Body Sensor Networks, Guang-Zhong Yad (Ed.) 2006 XVII, 311p. ISBN 3-540-32180-2 The last decade has seen a rapid surge of interest in new sensing and monitoring devices for healthcare and the use of wearable/wireless devices for clinical apps. Despite the tech developments of sensing and monitoring devices, issues related to system integration, sensor miniaturization, low-power sensor interface circuitry design, wireless telemetric links and signal processing have still to be investigated. This book addresses the issues of this rapidly changing field of wireless wearable and implantable sensors and discusses the latest technological developments and clinical apps of body-sensor networks.

Jan 2008 Buttoned- Down Technology: Clothes are getting smarter. But can high tech also be high fashion? "Smart clothes" used to mean Gore-Tex water-repellence or lots of pockets. 21st -century smart clothes are moving into the realm of integrated circuitry and antennas. Mix Australia's national science agency recently created the Flexible Integrated Energy Device, a jacket that can charge iPods and mobile phones. And Japanese tech giant NEC Corp. has produced clothing that includes a woven-in antenna to boost cell-phone reception.

Past smart clothing was designed with the focus on tech, not fashion, usually meant for office geeks or high-performance athletes. But Ari Vega, a professor of business and tech at the Fashion Institute of Technology in NY, says fashion designers are starting to take notice of high-tech clothing features.

The iPhone has already caused a trend in apparel. All the larger manufacturers will incorporate ways to carry such devices. Busting out of the geek-wear niche has also been a goal for Scott Jordan, CEO and founder of ScotteVest. Debuting in 2001 with a line centered on fishing-tackle vest styles, Scotte Vest now makes jackets, pants, vests, and more. Loops and conduits are embedded in ScotteVest's 25-pocket cargo pants, 11-pocket hoodies, and polo shirts, creating cozy homes for portable electronics and leaving wearers' hands free. Many such items range from $70 to $150, the price barrier of the high-tech garment niche is on its way to being broken. And the apparel styles have evolved from Atari to Armani.

The perception is that the things we make are geeky-looking," Jordan says. "Now we've hired a clothing designer. I buy the coolest clothes out there and give them to her as a guide. This is about fashion. It's got to look great." -Eileen Travers

07/2008 The Morphing Mobile Gadget: Your future mobile phone will be a constant companion, serving not only as your communicator but also as your environmental sensor. It will harness solar energy and be self-cleaning (thanks to integrated nanotechnology). But that's just skimming the surface. To see the full-blown vision of engineers at Nokia and the U Cambridge Nanoscience Center, watch the video at go.pcmag.com/nokiavideo.

Nanotech-based fiber mesh is flexible, stretchable, transparent, and strong.

Elasticity lets it change shape.

Can be worn on wrist.

Folds up to fit in pocket; unfolds to reveal keyboard, display, touch pad.

Nano-structured surface is self-cleaning.

Repels water, dirt, fingerprints.

Small, thin, quick-charge battery.

Built-in solar absorption charges the device.

Integrated sensors inform user of pollution and chemicals.

Transparent electronics offer new aesthetic dimension.

Made of biodegradable materials.

ACM TechNews Articles

[V3 #258 09/28/01] "Real-Life Cyborg Challenges Reality With Technology" Steve Mann protests "the totalitarian use" of technology by inventing wearable tech he himself uses. He dons a headset with cameras that record everything he sees, which he can then project onto his retina through eyetap glasses.

[V3 #272 11/02/01] "Input Devices Call On a Little Muscle" Sony Computer Science Labs' Interaction Lab ... a wristwatch device that transmits computer commands through the electrical activity of users arm muscles ...

[V3 #574 11/07/01] "Darpa Kick Starts Wearable Computer Initiative" DARPA plans to spend "tens of millions of dollars" over the next five yrs on an e-textiles initiative ...

[V4 #309 02/08/02] "Silicon Valley Techies Suit Up Army with Sleeker Gear" Silicon Valley engineers have transformed the US Army's Land Warrior wearable computer system from a bulky, unpopular tool into a device soldiers are quick to praise. Originally designed and built by Raytheon,

[V4 #316 02/27/02] "Really Special Forces" DARPA is investing $50 million to build an exoskeletons24 designed to enhance the wearer's strength, speed, endurance, and combat capability in response to the projected rise of urban warfare. The Sarcos ...


[V4 #322 03/13/02] "Body of Knowledge Spurs Search for New Markets" Wearable computers are picking up speed in the marketplace on the fashion front and in the enterprise sector. New tech in computer hw and sensors are making visions of wearable computers possible and attractive to the public, ...

[V4 #329 03/29/02] "Don't Point, Just Think: The Brain Wave as Joystick" Experiments have shown progress in developing a brain-machine interface that could allow paralyzed or disabled people to control computers or artificial limbs mentally. At Brown U, researchers have implanted tiny ...

[V4 #339 04/22/02] "3-D, and Ditch the Glasses" Several 3D display techs that can be used without the need for special glasses are being developed or marketed in the US. Potential uses range from the advanced study of medical imagery and simulation to more ...

[V4 #341 04/26/02] "Augmented Reality: A New Way of Seeing" Augmented-reality systems are user interfaces designed to enhance sensory data with virtual info, and major research effortsto develop wearable, "see-through" devices that can supplement one's visual perception with graphical ...

[V4 #344 04/03/02] "You May Wear Your Next Computer" Royal Philips Electronics, IBM, and others are working on display screens that are lightweight and flexible in order to accelerate the move to portable computing. The lack of a flexible display that could be rolled up or folded and put in a ...

"Self-Described 'Cyborg' Reveals Promise and Dangers of Wearable Computers" Steve Mann, asst prof of electrical and computer engineering at U Toronto, is a pioneer of wearable computing with a personal interest: For the last two decades he has worn an electronic interface he developed that ...

[V4 #348 05/13/02] "Wearable Computers Will Enhance the World We See" Researchers at Columbia U and elsewhere are developing augmented reality devices--wearable tech that allows people to enhance their visual perceptions by overlaying imagery and data over their view of the surrounding environment ...

"Enter the Cyborgs" Implants that deliver feedback to the brain have ethicists debating whether such implants could turn human beings into remote-controlled robots, as demonstrated by a recent experiment in which scientists used . . .

[V4 #352 05/22/02] "In the Future, We'll Be Seeing the World Differently" New eyeglass computer displays promise to change the way people work and interact with one another. MicroOptical has been working on such products since 1995 ... and has several products on the market ...

[V4 #382 08/05/02] "A New Wrinkle in Communication May Be in Your Clothes" Clothes infused with a variety of electronic functions could be manufactured thanks to the development of a radical "smart thread" from Santa Fe Science and Technology. The thread, fabricated from a patented plastic-like polymer ...

[V4 #386 08/14/02] "Down the Road: Bendable Computers and Wearable LEDs" The NSF and the Semiconductor Research Corp are funding research by Cornell U scientists seeking to create flexible electronics through the combination of organic and inorganic interfaces ...

[V4 #393 08/30/02] "Fabricating the Future" Proponents expect smart fabrics, or wearable computing, to be a key driver of the US economy, while its diversity should advance tech overall. MIT Media Lab graduate and International Fashion Machines co-founder Maggie Orth anticipates ...

[V4 #408 10/07/02] "Scientists in E-Material Breakthrough" Ghassan Jabbour of U Arizona is leading a team working on super-thin organic films that can act as transistors, solar cells, or light emitters. His lab has demonstrated that such nanofilms can be printed onto plastic, paper, and other ...

[V4 #410 10/11/02] "What to Wear: Why Not a Computer?" Projects are underway to develop wearable computing devices that could be beneficial for both ordinary and not-so-ordinary users. Georgia Tech researcher Thad Starner says wearable computers would be ...
[V4 #411 Oct 16, 2002] "Wearables: More Than Sci-Fi Stuff" Students from MIT and Georgia Tech attending last week's Sixth Annual International Wearable Computer Symposium tried out new technologies at the U Washington campus. ... augmented reality, involves a see-through ...

[V4 #414 Oct 23, 2002] "Smart Fatigues Hear Enemy Coming" Scientists at Virginia Tech and the USC have combined state-of-the-art electronics and traditional weaving techniques to develop a fabric that can detect and relay sounds from great distances ...

[V4 #417 Oct 30, 2002] "Trio Teams Up for Bendable Screens" Lucent Technologies, DuPont, and Sarnoff today announced a 3yr partnership to participate in an Advanced Tech Program initiative to develop thin, bendable displays using polymer-based organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) in order to ...

"The Future of Wearable Computers" Wearable computing is poised to expand into many diverse applications. Thad Starner of the Georgia Techís College of Computing reports users can access info much faster and more efficiently with wearable ...

[V4 #421 Nov 8, 2002] "Engineering Researchers are Designing the Ultimate Fabrics" E-textiles --fabrics that feature interwoven electronic components--are being designed by engineers at Virginia Polytechnic Inst and State U through federally funded projects. ...

[V4 # 430 Dec 4, 2002] "Spy-Sized Gizmos Built Into Clothes and Glasses" Tech forecasters such as Wayne Pethrick of the Futures Lab and Paul Saffo of the Institute for the Future expect "wearware"--electronics embedded in apparel--will be a major trend of the coming yrs. "It's basically the computer as ...

[V4 #431 Dec 6, 2002] "E-Fabrics Still Too Stiff to Wear" Researchers gathering at the Materials Research Society conference acknowledge that e-textile development has yet to produce viable wearable electronics. Wearable circuits require flexible conductive fibers, but the materials currently ...

[V4 #432 Dec 9, 2002] "Clothes Make the Network" Wireless wearable tech could spur the formation of what Lancaster U's Gerd Kortuem calls "ad hoc communities" in which people with similar interests and tastes can network and participate in social activities--resource sharing, gaming, ...

[V4 #433 Date: Dec 11, 2002] "Shoes and Sheets Get Wired" At the Materials Research Society meeting, researchers discussed various initiatives to develop "electrotextiles," in which electronic devices and fibers are woven into fabrics. International Fashion Machines has developed a denim jacket ...

[V5 #451 Jan 29, 2003] "Companies Test Prototype Wireless-Sensor Nets" 4yrs after it was proposed by DARPA, the wireless-sensor network concept has reached the prototype phase and is being tested worldwide ...

[V5 #456 Feb 10, 2003] "For the Smart Dresser, Electric Threads That Cosset You" Electrotextiles --electrically conductive cloth--are being developed so they can be applied to many wearable products in both the military and civilian sector. The cloth is fashioned from synthetic or metallic fibers that can be linked to ...

[V5 #483 Apr 16, 2003] "Military Fashioning High-Tech Combat Suits" The Army's Soldier Systems Center is the focus of research to build more sophisticated yet comfortable uniforms, body armor, and other protective systems for troops to wear on the battlefield ...


[V5 #494 May 12, 2003] "Is That a Computer Chip in Your Carpet?" Infineon Technologies has developed a chip sensor network woven into industrial fabrics. The tech is useful for monitoring movement or structural integrity in buildings when embedded in the carpet or in textiles wrapped around support ...

[V5 #497 May 19, 2003] "Wear Down Opposition" Some academics subscribe to the theory that the move toward wearable tech is part of an evolutionary trend stretching back more than seven centuries. In the past months, Motorola and other companies have unveiled a plethora of wearable ...

[V5 #514 Jun 30, 2003] "Wearing Wires" Perhaps the biggest barrier to the adoption of electronic clothing is its fashion value, but that may change thanks to the work of Georgia Tech engineer Sundaresan Jayaraman. Jayaraman's breakthrough electronic fabric, which ...

[V5 #543 Sep10, 2003] "Chic Gear to Suit Net Generation" Designers are readying the next gen of wearable computing fashions, integrating fashion and electronics. Glasses with computer displays embedded in the lenses and Bluetooth headsets that allow people to use their cell phone hands-free are already ...

[V5 #556 Oct 10, 2003] "E-Textiles, Robot 'Skin' Among Advances at IEDM" Crystalline organic semiconductors and their potential tech apps will be the focus of the International Electron Devices Meeting in December, where papers presented there will address such topics as radio-frequency ...
[V5 #560 Oct 20, 2003] "Ready to Ware" E-textiles--electronics woven into apparel--promise toenhance the performance of battlefield commanders, firefighters, and athletes, as well as boost functionality and stylishness for average consumers. A SmartShirt or Wearable Motherboard is a ...

[V5 #562 Oct 24, 2003] "Robot Skin Stretches to the Task" Princeton U electrical engineers ... plan to unveil an elastic, conducting skin for robots during next week's robot conference in Las Vegas. Developing skin for robots that stretches has proven to be ...

[V5 #577 Dec 1, 2003] "Wireless Wearables--Where's the Technology Headed?" Wearable computers, as defined by Venture Development, are, ideally, "smart fabrics" equipped with sensors to provide geolocation, biophysical monitoring, and other services; they should boast always-accessible computers that can either run ...

[V5 #581 Dec 10, 2003] "Researchers Report Progress Embedding Devices in Fabrics" Researchers gathered at the International Electron Devices Meeting detailed their work in the field of ambient intelligence, with a particular emphasis on electronic textiles. "Ambient intelligence is the vision that technology will become ...

[V5 #583 Dec 15, 2003] "A New Standard for Fabric Intelligence" The multi-vendor fabric application interface standard promises to allow enhanced storage services that are simple to \fs24softlinemanage from the user's standpoint. Virtualization and other services using FAIS hide complexity from the user and embed ...

[V6 #595 Jan 16, 2004] "Lines Blurring Between Handhelds and Wearables" There is a clear boundary between portable and wearable computers--wearables allow for entirely hands-free operations, for instance--experts such as Gartner's Jackie Fenn expect that boundary to erode as wearable tech moves out of niche markets ...

Read the TechNews Online at: www.acm.org/technews/

[06/07/04] Researchers Build What They Envision as Wearable Computers: Frederic Zenhausern of Arizona State U's Applied NanoBioscience Center and U Arizona prof Jabbour have teamed up to create two prototype "biometric bodysuits" that incorporate microelectronics. The Scentsory Chameleon Bodysuits were showcased last ...

[10/15/04] MIT's Novel Fabrics See the Light. MIT researchers have created new optoelectronic fibers that can be woven together into new types of light-sensitive computer interfaces and multifunctional textile fabrics. "The technique we developed allowed us to bring together two disparate techs: Those involved in creating ...

[Oct 25, 2004] Smart Fabrics Make for Enhanced Living. MIT engineers are working on smart fabrics that can imbue objects with the ability to provide info or sense the environment. Each fabric patch" features a module equipped with a microprocessor and memory, along with either a sensor, a radio transceiver, batteries, a microphone, or a ...

[Dec 8, 2004] "When Technology Gets Personal" BT futurologist Ian Pearson foresees a "pervasive ambient world" where people are surrounded by or perhaps even physically integrated with intelligent objects. Smart fabrics and textiles developed through breakthroughs in micro- and nano-engineering are already on the market: ...

"Wired and Ready to Wear" Commercial companies are driving the development of wearable electronics for military use, whose functions range from networking soldiers to ground, sea, and air forces to language translation to delivering situational awareness so that the infantry has the best chance to survive and defeat an ...

 

Where are we now??