Smart Garments

The aim of this project is to develop a proof of concept demonstrator for the use of an embedded real-time communication system for personnel working in mines or other hazardous situations.

Supported by Global Challenges in 2014, the project demonstrated the feasibility of incorporating antenna arrays within garments for the purposes of communication, localisation and tracking, as well as health monitoring for individuals.

The team has since developed this technology through a research partnership with Australian wool manufacturer Bluey Merino and with support of the NSW Government. The team has developed active and outdoor wear made with super-fine merino wool. Customers can scan the label with their mobile phones to confirm the origin of the wool in their new garment, making it counterfeit-proof.

“This gave us access to a world class R&D facility and a host of professors and PhD students focused on our problem... It traces the history of the product right back to our farmers and allows it to be differentiated from the commodity wool fibre products on the market,” Bluey Merino founder Andrew Ross.

The next step is to develop body-sensing capabilities within Bluey Merino's garments to monitor the wearer’s vitals such as blood pressure and temperature, with applications in fields including athletics, defence, healthcare and aged care. 

In the media


Outcomes & Publications

  • Foroughi, J. (2017). "High-performance hybrid carbon nanotube fibers for wearable energy storage", Nanoscale, published March 2017, DOI: 10.1039/C7NR00408G
  • Foroughi, J. (2016). "Effect of post-spinning on the electrical and electrochemical properties of wet spun graphene fibre." RSC Advances 6(52): 46427-46432.
  • Abbas, S. M., Foroughi, J., Safaei, F., , et al.“Microwave characterization of carbon nano-tube yarns for UWB medical wireless body area networks”, IEEE Transactions on Microwave Theory and Techniques, Vol 61, No 10, pp 3625-3631, 2013.
  • Foroughi, J., Safaei, F., et al, “Preparation and Characterization of Hybrid Conducting Polymer – Carbon Nanotube Yarn”, Nanoscale, 2012, 4 (3), 940 – 945.
  • Foroughi, J., Safaei, F., et al., “Effect of conducting polypyrrole on the transport properties of carbon nanotube yarn”, Thin Solid Films (2012), 520 (24), 7049-7053, 2012.
  • Foroughi, J., et al., Effect of post-spinning on the electrical and electrochemical properties of wet spun graphene fibre, RSC Advances 6 (52), 46427-46432.
  • Foroughi, J., Mitew, T., Ogunbona, P., Raad, R., and Safaei, F., Smart Fabrics and Networked Clothing, IEEE consumer electronics magazine, in press, 2016.
  • J. Foroughi, T. Mitew, P. Ogunbona, R. Raad and F. Safaei, "Smart Fabrics and Networked Clothing: Recent developments in CNT-based fibers and their continual refinement," in IEEE Consumer Electronics Magazine, vol. 5, no. 4, pp. 105-111, Oct. 2016. doi: 10.1109/MCE.2016.2590220
  • Javad Foroughi, Geoffrey M. Spinks, Shazed Aziz, Azadeh Mirabedini, Ali Jeiranikhameneh, Gordon G. Wallace, Mikhail E. Kozlov, and Ray H. Baughman. "Knitted Carbon-Nanotube-Sheath/Spandex-Core Elastomeric Yarns for Artificial Muscles and Strain Sensing". ACS Nano 2016 10 (10), 9129-9135 DOI: 10.1021/acsnano.6b04125


The team

This project brings expertise together from the Faculty of Engineering and Information Systems, Faculty of the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities and the Australian Institute of Innovative Materials.

Dr Javad Foroughi ARC Research Fellow, Intelligent Polymer Research Institute, ARC Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science, University of Wollongong, Australia. He is an expert in nanomaterials processing and characterisation, with particular emphasis on conducting polymers, CNT, graphene, wet-spinning fibre processing, composite manufacture, device assembly and their mechanical, electrical and electrochemical and spectroscopic characterisations. Dr Foroughi is currently developing CNT materials especially tailored for massive antenna arrays.

Professor Farzad Safaei from the Faculty of Engineering and Information Sciences has extensive experience in the design and optimisation of network infrastructure, distributed systems, protocol modelling and performance evaluation, specifically for multiple-input multiple output (MIMO) wireless systems, antenna selection and co-operative communication.

Dr Raad Raad is part of the School of Electrical, Computer & Telecommunications Engineering within the Faculty of Engineering and Information Systems. He has expertise in sensor networks, RFID, medium access control protocols, delay tolerant networks, cellular systems and admission control. He also has an ongoing project for mining and smart wireless rock bolts.

Professor Philip Ogunbona is part of the School of Computing & Information Technology within the Faculty of Engineering and Information Systems.  He has expertise and research experience in pattern recognition and machine learning.  In this project he will contribute to the mining of appropriate wearable sensor data for the purpose of recognising human activities where such algorithms can be used to detect the state of a person underground.

Dr Teodor Mitew is a lecturer in the School of the Arts, English and Media within the Faculty of the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities. He has expertise in digital and locative media, studies of technology and society, actor network theory and ambient socio-digital systems. He contributes a humanities perspective to the project in terms of conceptualising the effects of pervasive and semantically-rich connectivity on human users.


This project is working towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals:

 Goal 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure .  Goal 17: Partnerships for the Goals