The Telecommunications division of the European Space Agency
is developing smart clothing that can monitor the location and health of firefighters and other emergency response workers. The I-GARMENT
, made of protective fabric, will be able to measure geographic positions and vital signs of the wearer, transmitting the data to field officers carrying wireless PDAs or laptops, or to a remote headquarters.
The I-GARMENT will be covered with sensors, with its main processors and transmitter located between the wearer's shoulder blades. The transmitter will be able to communicate via satellite, allowing the wearer to be monitored virtually anywhere.
The ESA created a prototype in September, and will deploy the finished I-GARMENTs to the Portuguese Civil Protection for their first responders.