Added: (Wed Jan 30 2002)

Pressbox (Press Release) - The need to carry a mobile phone or pick up a TV remote control to switch channels could soon be a thing of the past due to an innovative fabric, which has propelled a Brunel University inventor into the British Female Inventor of the Year Awards to be held in London on 7 February.

Textile Designer Asha Peta Thompson, who works at the ‘Design for Life Centre’ within Brunel University’s Department of Design, is a finalist in the Women Inventors in Industry category with a fabric that combines design and functionality with electronics.

The ongoing sensory fabric research project highlights technology, which uses electrically conductive textiles to fabricate switches and sensors, enabling it to carry out a wide variety of functions for handheld and personal devices, educational computing and personal computer interfaces as well as many others.

Depending on the configuration of complex electrical circuits woven into it, the fabric has a wide variety of uses including a TV remote control built into a cushion. It can even be used as a body worn voice communicator for people needing help with speech. This new technology could mean that you have all the electrical controls you need available in the clothes that you wear, the seat you are sitting in, even the floor you are standing on. The fabric has especially strong potential in the healthcare field as it can be constructed to remember how it has been touched.

Asha Peta, an inventor of the fabric, says: “It allows multi functional and ‘inclusive’ design, offering great potential for a wide variety of uses. Ongoing research should reveal amazing new applications, and could revolutionise product design and development for many industries.”

Asha Peta is one of several inventors competing for the first ever Women Inventors in Industry prize at the British Female Inventor of the Year Awards event and a share of up to 20,000 worth of prizes. Founder of the awards, Bola Olabisi says of the entrants: “It will be fascinating to see who wins the award because the inventions touch on many aspects of science, engineering and technology. The diversity shows that women can be active in all areas of innovation. We hope that the finalists will be an inspiration to young females everywhere to consider science, research & technology as career options.”

Melvyn Rees of The Patent Office says: “The great range of skills showcased at the event will offer budding young women inventors an insight into the exciting projects you can work on if you take up a career as a researcher.”

For more information on the event, please see the British Female Inventor of the Year website www.bfiy.com or write to British Female Inventor of the Year, PFWN, 4 Waverley Gardens, Barking, Essex IG11 0BG.

For more information about patents, trade marks, design registration and copyright, please see The Patent Office website at www.patent.gov.uk or contact The Patent Office Central Enquiry Unit on 08459 500505.


Issued by Prowse & Co on behalf of The Patent Office.

For more press information, please contact:
Deborah Fields or Vicki Fletcher at Prowse & Company on 01372 363 386 or e-mail deborah@prowse.co.uk or vicki@prowse.co.uk

For more information on Asha Peta or the Design For Life Centre, Faculty of Technology and Information Systems, Brunel University, please contact Lucinda Fasken on Tel: 020 8956 2627 or Nicky de Kleijn on Tel: 020 8956 2511 or email Lucinda on lucinda@fusepr.com

Editor’s Notes
The British Female Inventor of the Year is awarded to an inventor who has come up with an original product or process.
The British Female Innovator is awarded to an inventor who has spotted a gap in the market and started to market her product or process to fill that gap.
The winner of the British Female Inventor of the Year 2001 was Clare Newton with the Cuptake cupholder.
Ann Kritzinger won the Female Innovator 2001 category with the Doubleback Multiple Copy Short-Run Bookbinding machine.
Damini Kumar for her Non-Drip Spout for teapots and other pouring vessels won the Young Female Inventor of the Year 2001.

News release is available online at

29 January 2002

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