Imagine a patient just out of surgery and requiring constant monitoring of position and vital
signs, and is therefore limited to bed rest in a hospital surrounded by machines and cords that
constrain her movement during recovery. Now, imagine if that same patient wore clothing with
that sensing capability built into its fabric, required no power connection, and yet was
comfortable to wear. She could be discharged earlier and start moving sooner, thereby improving
health outcomes while reducing healthcare costs.
TEX-hype Collaboration Is Up to the Challenge
According to Franz Amtmann, Technical Director and RFID Lead Architect at NXP in Austria, “There
are a number of hurdles to jump on this journey, starting with the question of power, since
sensors require electricity and nobody wants to wear clothing with a battery or electrical cord
attached to it.”
Together with research organizations, universities, healthcare providers and textile industry
partners, NXP is collaborating on a project called TEX-hype. The goal is simple: develop technology for seamless integration of electronics into garments
that provide a textile experience, drawing on NXP’s expertise in sensing,
positional data, and low-energy use technologies.
Many of the other project challenges relate to the performance requirements of textiles, namely
that they be flexible, withstand sweat and wear-and-tear while being hypoallergenic and gentle on
the skin, and be thermally durable to survive such things as regular washing.
Solutions and Applications
The potential solution may be merging a combination of traditional silicon-based electronic
devices, flexible electronic devices and printed systems, as well as methods for protecting the
wires and components against influences of dust or moisture. This undertaking will likely involve
balancing tradeoffs between functionality and usability or comfort, always with an eye on
maximizing the potential use cases while preserving the integrity and security of the product.
The final form factor is also undecided, though one idea is to put the application
into a waistband integrated with undergarments.
However, the ultimate benefits of this innovation are clear and growing, and there are already
many potentially interesting fields of application. It could be used to mobilize patients and
discharge sooner after surgery, as already noted, and then provide remote patient monitoring to
help reduce repeat hospital visits. It could be used in retirement and nursing homes to empower
resident activities while monitoring their conditions and physical well-being, such as falls.
Beyond that, more applications will come in the near future to support patients and people with
unique demands in their daily life.
Cracking the code on this innovation will also take us one step closer to smart clothing for
NXP’s PCP Division
NXP’s Public Cooperative Programs (PCP) division coordinates publicly funded innovation and R&D
collaborations with academic, government, nonprofit and corporate partners. NXP’s PCP team manages
all operational, financial and legal matters, allowing technical engineers to focus on the
research and development. The TEX-hype project is funded by The Austrian Research Promotion Agency
(FFG) under project number 883859.
To learn more about RFID/NFC, please visit