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Wearable tech protects customers from counterfeit wool clothing

The NSW Government is supporting a technology developed by researchers from the University of Wollongong (UOW), which will guarantee that customers buying the finest wool-based clothing will be able to confirm that they are getting what they paid for.

According to a recent press release, a Mittagong-based active and outdoor brand worked with the University in order to develop the Near Field Communications (NFC) label.

This will be incorporated into its range of active and outdoor wear made with the softest rare grade, super-fine merino wool.

The Near Field Communications label

Customers will be able to scan the label with their mobile phones so that they can confirm the origin of the wool in their new garment.

The brand worked with the University of Wollongong as part of the NSW Government’s AU$ 18 million Boosting Business Innovation Program to open up university research centres to local companies.

The Deputy Premier and Minister for Industry John Barilaro explained that this is an outstanding example of a local company working with the university sector through the Boost program to deliver a true ‘value-add’ for the regional primary industry sector.

He added that throughout the world, NSW products are renowned for their high quality.

Therefore, it is critical that technology be used to guarantee their provenance and be guarded against counterfeiting.

The technology gives assurance to the customers that their purchase is not only of the finest quality but has also been produced according to the highest ethical standard.

It traces the history of the product right back to the farmers and allows it to be differentiated from the commodity wool fibre products on the market.

The University research lead, Dr Javad Foroughi, expressed his pleasure at the opportunity to collaborate and apply breakthrough research to real world problems.

Not only that, but the project has also given PhD students a chance to interact with industry.

The brand’s next step would be to develop body-sensing capabilities within their garments in order to monitor the wearer’s vitals such as blood pressure and temperature.

This technology will have applications in fields including athletics, defence, healthcare and aged care.

The Boosting Business Innovation Program

The Boosting Business Innovation Program connects the state’s businesses with the NSW university sector’s research and testing capabilities.

This will help push the development of new products and services as well as further strengthen the NSW economy.

The program is boosting the following:

  1. A networked innovation ecosystem across NSW
  2. Additional external funding
  3. Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) that want to scale up and innovate
  4. The regional start-up sector and creating innovation clusters across the state
  5. Access to high tech equipment and technical expertise research by SMEs and start-ups through TechVouchers.

The Founder of the brand shared that the program had given them access to a world class R&D facility and a host of professors and PhD students focused on their problem.

The University’s in-house industry matchmaker, Advantage SME, helped bring together the brand and the researchers.

Advantage SME helps businesses and researchers find their ideal partners and build beneficial relationships.

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