On this blog entry, I’ve taken a look at the paper from Josh Urban Davis of the Department of Computer Science in the Dartmouth College.
The IllumiWear is eTextile prototype that uses fiber optics as interactive input and visual output. Fibre optic cables are combined into bundles and the woven to create a bendable glowing fabric. By connecting light diodes to one side of the fibre optic cables and light sensors to the other side, loss of light intensity can be measured when the fabric is bent.
By this technology the IllumiWear is able to recognise the difference between a touch, slight bends, harsh bends and can also recover the exact location of these deformations.