Ajman University Develops Garment System to Help Autistic People

Two lecturers at Ajman University (AU) have developed a smart garment ecosystem which can determine the wearer’s stress level and trigger clothes and accessories’ functionalities accordingly to help understand and better control overwhelming situations and emotions.

This may help in monitoring physiological parameters indicating stress in autistic people.

The system ‘Sensewear’, has been developed by Emanuela Corti and Ivan Parati, lecturers with the Department of Interior Design, College of Architecture, Art and Design, Ajman University.

“Through a comfortable, wearable and customisable tech solution embedding textile sensors, we will be able to constantly monitor selected physiological parameters revealing a stressful condition,” Corti said.

The system comprises a sensing unit, a smart t-shirt, embedding textile sensors connected to an electronic device and satellite garments that embed the therapeutic functionalities. “An app for smartphone and tablet will help in visualising the wearer condition facing different situations, record data and progress with the scope of monitoring the wearer,” Corti said.

Corti and Parati have been awarded the top prize at Gitex Future Starts for this pioneering product.

AU lecturers were inspired by the senses and therapies applied to the Sensory Processing Disorders (SPD) that is a common condition in autism where “the natural interface to the outside world is often impaired preventing a regular interaction with people and environment.” Anxiety, stress and panic attack – some of the autism’s symptoms – proved to be affecting a variety of people without disabilities, she added. “We realised that garments can have a positive impact on a bigger audience.”

The product has been and will be continuously developed in cooperation with autistic children, their families and their therapists, she pointed out. “Autistic children bear a load of emotions, but often find it difficult to control them and to make them understandable for the people who care about them.”

Unobtrusive measurement of physiological parameters will give indication of the stress level of the individual in real-time alarming guardians and therapist in case of detected emergency. They will also give an instant assessment of therapies’ benefits.