The hi-tech garment could improve safety for cyclists, motorists, and emergency responders. For instance, the brush of a sleeve could display a 'textile map' on their arm—in an instant.
The inexpensive material turns a jacket into a touch screen—and could be in the shops by Christmas, according to SWNS news agency.
Powered by solar energy, it combines conductive and luminescent fibers with cotton.
Wearable technology has been promised for years, but creating large displays integrated with functional systems has proved challenging.
The researchers at Fudan University in Shanghai overcame this issue spectacularly with a display fabric almost 20 feet long and 10 inches wide.
The corresponding author who described the new electronic textile in the journal Nature last month, Professor Huisheng Peng said, "The cloth is flexible, breathable, and durable—making it ideal for the real world."
"Conventional solid-state materials are not readily compatible with textiles because they struggle to withstand the natural deformation that occurs when fabrics are worn and washed," said Peng.