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Project Smart Jacket

A knitted and washable remote control for better daily living

For almost everybody reading this, reaching for the remote will be obvious and automatic. But if one literally has one’s hands full – or perhaps not when mobility is restricted by accident, illness, disability or the frailty of old age – even a little button can become a real barrier. If it were possible to control machines, lighting, furniture or games simply with a nudge of the arm against the back of an armchair or other solid object, those everyday barriers might fall. And in industry, for example, the control of machinery might be extended.

With these thoughts, Strick Zella GmbH & Co.KG, ITP GmbH Weimar and IMMS developed a potential solution: the prototype of smart clothing that one wears and can use as a remote control. The prototype is a jacket with three knitted switch patches in different colours. The ”wool“ in the two outside layers of the patch conducts electricity and there is a loosely knitted middle pad. This padding ensures the user can feel that switching is happening. It also controls the electrical contact. If the switch patch is compressed, the two conducting layers come into contact and the software in the jacket processes the signal, which is then sent wirelessly to the intended receivers over a distance of up to 30 meters.

The choice of receivers for the knitted switches can be preset using an app in a mobile phone. The item of clothing with all its functionality including battery can be washed at up to 60°C and will work for up to three years without needing a battery change. There are no such systems as yet on the market.

IMMS’ role has been to design, create and integrate the energy-efficient electronics, selecting energy-saving components and optimising their interaction. In association with these tasks, the Institute has produced solutions for the power supply, radio link, and configuration by app as well as the provision of assured functionality. Strick Zella is promoting the outcome of all this work under the name Knitty-Fi.

Acronym / Name:

Smart Jacket / Design and implementation of an ultra-low-power electronics for wireless transmittion of switch commands

Duration:2015 – 2016


Research field:

Related content


Dr. Gottfried Betz, Strick Zella

Dr. Gottfried Betz, Strick Zella GmbH & Co.KG. Photograph: Strick Zella.

“IMMS did not only design, develop and integrate the electronics constantly taking account of additional specifications: more than that, IMMS initiated the idea of simply using a smart phone to configure the system, which is a persuasive selling point for potential customers.”
All publicationsSmart Jacket


Long Night of the Sciences

Discover interactive demonstrators, lectures on chip design and test setups.


Innovationstag Mittelstand 2017

Die Strickmanufaktur Zella und das IMMS präsentieren Ergebnisse aus dem 2016 abgeschlossenen ZIM-Projekt „Smart Jacket.“


Silicon Saxony AK CPS

„KNITTY-fi – Kleidung mit gestrickten Schaltern und energieeffizienter, waschbarer Elektronik“

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Informieren, Probieren, Mitmachen: das war die Lange Nacht der Wissenschaften in Erfurt

Vorträge, Mitmachexponate und jede Menge Angebote für Praktika, Bachelor- und Master-Arbeiten am IMMS

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Einfach genial: MDR führt mit gestrickter und waschbarer Fernbedienung durch die Sendung

Dienstag, 14.03.2017, um 19:50 Uhr im MDR-Fernsehen, danach in der MDR-Mediathek / im YouTube-Kanal von „Einfach genial“

Press release,

Smart Jacket vorgestellt – gestrickte Fernbedienung, waschbar bis 60°C

Funktionskleidung für den Gesundheitssektor, die Industrie und schwierige Einsatzbedingungen.

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20 Jahre IMMS mit Blick in die Zukunft: 'Wir verbinden die IT mit der realen Welt …

… Wissenschaft mit Wirtschaft, Nachwuchsförderung mit Projektthemen, Partner in Thüringen und darüber hinaus



Dr.-Ing. Tino Hutschenreuther

Head of System Design

tino.hutschenreuther(at) (0) 3677 874 93 40

Dr. Tino Hutschenreuther will answer your questions on our research in Smart distributed measurement and test systems and the related core topics Analysis of distributed IoT systems, Embedded AI and Real-time data processing and communications, on the lead applications Adaptive edge AI systems for industrial application and IoT systems for cooperative environmental monitoring as well as on the range of services for the development of embedded systems.


The SmartJacket ZIM project was funded by the German Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) by resolution of the German Federal Parliament under the reference KF2534511CJ4 as a joint project in the ZIM scheme (a central innovation programme supporting SMEs).

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