Design of a Smart Fencing Garment with Inertial Measurement Unit Sensors


This study describes the design of an intelligent fencing uniform, through the integration of inertial measurement units (IMU) to capture the athlete’s movements. Through the use of the Smartsuit ProTM with 19 IMUs, it was possible to establish a preliminarily contact with the IMU technology and carry out three-dimensional movement capture exercises in real time. One of the exercises was the comparison of right arm adduction (correct and incorrect). Data obtained in the Rokoko Studio software and exported in CSV, allowed analyzing the positions on the X, Y and Z axes of the shoulder, arm, forearm and hand during the movement. For the design of the concept, information obtained through direct observation of competition and training was used. Compared to the standard uniform, this approach could allow for a more informative and interactive design. The integration of this technology adds new functionalities to the fencing uniform, allowing the athlete to improve his performance and the coach to obtain more information about the athlete. For modelling and planning of the uniform, the “theory of kinetic construction of clothing” was used. Through this theory, a guideline is proposed for the development of a future advanced prototype. The complete development of this prototype is outside the scope of this work. It requires complex prototyping with IMU sensors and the development of appropriate software allowing signal processing and analysis in real time, calling for close interdisciplinary cooperation. Future work could include exploring other viable ways of prototyping and integrating the technology.


Helder Carvalho
Assistant Professor, Dep. Textile Engineering, Universidade do Minho, Braga, Portugal

Bernardo Providência
Assistant Professor, School of Architecture, Art and Design of the University of Minho, Professor, Design, Escola de Arquitetura, Aveiro, Portugal

Daniel Vieira
Researcher / Professor, Centre for Textile Science and Technology / Landscapes, Heritage and Territory Laboratory, University of Minho, Braga, Portugal


Presentation Type

Paper Presentation in a Themed Session


Designed Objects


Design, E-Textiles, Fencing Gear, IMU Sensors, Smart Garments, Smart Textiles