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Clothes smart enough to teach you how to improve nearly everything

Smart garments have traditionally meant you have had to either strap some sort of gadget to a part of your body or being covered in flashing lights.

But a new smart fabric from XelfleX could change all that.

XelfleX's fibre-optic thread acts as a motion sensor to track the wearer's movements, but in a different fashion. It basically means the entire shirt (or trousers, or anything else for that matter), could be "smart".

So, how does it work?

First, an initial pulse is sent by an LED. Then, up to ten sensors along each fibre scatter and reflect light every time a joint is moved.

This information is then sent to a smartphone or a computer through a small "electronics pack" that sends the pulse and the clips through the fibre.

The data is then transformed into useful information on an athlete's posture, movement or injury, which could be used to aid an athletes technique such as helping to perfect a golf or tennis swing.

Or, it could be used to create motion capture for movies or games.

The fibre is designed by inventor Martin Brock, at the UK-based R&D company Cambridge Consultants.

“With XelfleX, the garment itself is the sensor and it allows you to create smart clothing that is low-cost, durable, useful and attractive to wear," he said.

“We’ve combined our extensive experience in wearable technology with our deep knowledge of industrial sensing and control to come up with a smart system design for a new generation of wearables.”

Cambridge Consultants will be showing off the smart fabric in January at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in January.

Check out the video for a demo of the fabric in action.

Sead Fadilpašić is a freelance tech writer and journalist with more than 17 years experience writing technology-focussed news, blogs, whitepapers, reviews, and ebooks. And his work has featured in online media outlets from all over the world, including Al Jazeera Balkans (where he was a Multimedia Journalist), Crypto News, TechRadar Pro, and IT Pro Portal, where he has written news and features for over five years. Sead's experience also includes writing for inbound marketing, where he creates technology-based content for clients from London to Singapore. Sead is a HubSpot-certified content creator.