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Patent Searching and Data


Title:
WEARABLE ARTICLE AND METHOD
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2021/224620
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The wearable article (10) comprises a band of material (100) and an adjuster (200). The adjuster 200 comprises at least one passageway (207, 209) sized to receive the band of material (100). The band of material (100) passes through the at least one passageway (207, 209) of the adjuster (200) to define a space (127) between the band of material (100) and the adjuster (200) for receiving the electronics module (300).

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Inventors:
RIAZ, Naeem (GB)
Application Number:
PCT/GB2021/051089
Publication Date:
November 11, 2021
Filing Date:
May 05, 2021
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
PREVAYL LIMITED (GB)
International Classes:
A44C5/00; A61B5/00; A61B5/256; A61N1/04
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
APPLEYARD LEES IP LLP (GB)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1. A wearable article comprising: a band of material comprising a connection interface for interfacing with an electronics module; an adjuster comprising at least one passageway sized to receive the band of material, wherein the band of material passes through the at least one passageway of the adjuster to define a space between the band of material and the adjuster for receiving the electronics module, and when the electronics module is positioned in the space, the electronics module is arranged to be brought into communication with the connection interface.

2. Awearable article as claimed in claim 1 , wherein the adjuster is moveable relative to the band of material to change the size of the space.

3. Awearable article as claimed in claim 1 or 2, wherein the connection interface faces into the space.

4. A wearable article as claimed in any preceding claim, wherein the adjuster separates the connection interface from a skin surface when worn.

5. A wearable article as claimed in any preceding claim, wherein when the electronics module is positioned in the space, the electronics module separates the connection interface from the adjuster.

6. A wearable article as claimed in any preceding claim, wherein the band of material comprises an electronics component.

7. A wearable article as claimed in claim 6, wherein the connection interface is in communication with the electronics component.

8. A wearable article as claimed in claim 6 or 7, wherein the adjuster separates the connection interface from the electronics component.

9. A wearable article as claimed in any of claims 6 to 8, wherein the band of material comprises a conductive pathway that extends between the connection interface and the electronics component to electrically connect the connection interface to the electronics component.

10. A wearable article as claimed in claim 9, wherein the conductive pathway extends through the at least one passageway to conductively connect the connection interface to the electronics component. 11. A wearable article as claimed in any of claims 6 to 10, wherein the electronics component is proximate to or in in contact with a skin surface when worn.

12. A wearable article as claimed in any of claims 6 to 11 , wherein the electronics component comprises a sensing unit.

13. A wearable article as claimed in claim 12, wherein the sensing unit comprises an electrode.

14. A wearable article as claimed in claim 13, wherein the electrode is attached to the band of material.

15. Awearable article as claimed in claim 13, wherein the electrode is integral with the band of material. 16. A wearable article as claimed in any preceding claim, wherein the band of material comprises a first surface and a second surface opposing the first surface, wherein the second surface is arranged to face into the space, and wherein the first surface is arranged to face away from the space. 17. Awearable article as claimed in claim 16, wherein the connection interface is provided on the second surface.

18. Awearable article as claimed in claim 16 or 17, wherein the band of material comprises an electronics component, and wherein the electronics component is provided on the second surface.

19. Awearable article as claimed in any preceding claim, wherein the band is arranged to surround a circumference of a wearer. 20. A wearable article as claimed in any preceding clam, wherein the band forms a continuous loop of material.

21. Awearable article as claimed in any of claims 1 to 19, wherein the band comprises a first end and a second end. 22. A wearable article as claimed in claim 21 , wherein the first end and the second end comprise fasteners to enable the first end to be releasably connected to the second end. 23. A wearable article as claimed in any preceding claim, further comprising an electronics module.

24. A method comprising: providing a band of material comprising a connection interface for interfacing with an electronics module; providing an adjuster; and passing the band of material through the adjuster to define a space between the band of material and the adjuster for receiving an electronics module. 25. A wearable article comprising: a band of material defining a first surface and a second surface, the band of material comprises a connection interface for interfacing with an electronics module and an electronics component, wherein the electronics component and the connection interface are provided on the second surface; and an adjuster comprising at least one passageway sized to receive the band of material.

Description:
WEARABLE ARTICLE AND METHOD

The present invention is directed towards a wearable article and method, and in particular a wearable article comprising a band of material and an adjuster. Background

Wearable articles such as wearable chest bands, arm bands and wrist bands can be designed to interface with a user of the article, and to determine information such as the user's heart rate, rate of respiration, activity level, and body positioning. The articles include electrically conductive pathways to allow for signal transmission between an electronics module for processing and communication and sensing components of the article.

It is desirable to overcome at least some of the problems associated with the prior art, whether explicitly discussed herein or otherwise.

Summary

According to the present disclosure there is provided a wearable article and method as set forth in the appended claims. Other features of the invention will be apparent from the dependent claims, and the description which follows.

According to a first aspect of the disclosure, there is provided a wearable article comprising: a band of material; and an adjuster comprising at least one passageway sized to receive the band of material. The band of material passes through the at least one passageway of the adjuster to define a space between the band of material and the adjuster for receiving an electronics module.

Advantageously, the adjuster enables a space to be formed for receiving the electronics module. This provides a simple and convenient mechanism for retaining an electronics module which does not require additional elements on the band of material such as pockets or other forms of holders for electronics modules. The adjuster additionally can provide protection against liquid ingress from a skin surface of a wearer to the electronics module.

The adjuster may be moveable relative to the band of material to change the size of the space.

Advantageously, tightening of the band can restrict the size of the space to help hold the electronics module tightly within the space and limit movement of the electronics module. The band of material may comprise a connection interface for interfacing with the electronics module. When the electronics module is positioned in the space, the electronics module may be brought into communication with the connection interface. The electronics module may be brought into physical contact with the connection interface. The connection interface may mechanically couple the electronics module to the band of material. The electronics module may be held and retained in the space at least partially by the physical contact. The electronics module may be brought into wireless communication with the connection interface such as by forming an inductive coupling.

The connection interface may be arranged to form a conductive connection with the electronics module.

The connection interface may be arranged to form an inductive connection with the electronics module.

The electronics module may comprise a processor and may be arranged to receive signals from the band of material or send signals to the band of material when brought into communication with the connection interface.

The connection interface may face into the space.

The adjuster may separate the connection interface from a skin surface when worn.

Advantageously, the adjuster may provide a barrier against ingress of liquid into the space and thus reduce the likelihood or prevent liquid (such as sweat) from reaching the connection interface from the skin surface. This protects against a deterioration in the coupling between the electronics module and the connection interface and avoids the formation of an electrical short across the connection interface.

When the electronics module is positioned in the space, the electronics module may separate the connection interface from the adjuster.

Advantageously, the electronics module may provide a further separation of the connection interface from the skin surface. This provides further protection against liquid reaching the connection interface.

The band of material may comprise an electronics component.

The connection interface may be in communication with the electronics component. The adjuster may separate the connection interface from the electronics component.

The band of material may comprise a conductive pathway that extends between the connection interface and the electronics component to electrically connect the connection interface to the electronics component.

The conductive pathway may extend through the at least one passageway to conductively connect the connection interface to the electronics component.

Advantageously, the conductive pathway enables the connection interface within the space to conductively connect to an electronics component positioned outside of the space.

The electronics component may be arranged to be proximate to or in in contact with a skin surface when worn.

The electronics component may comprise a sensing unit. The sensing unit may comprise an electrode but is not limited to this example. Any other form of sensing unit for monitoring signals from a wearer, particularly when in proximity to or in contact with a skin surface is within the scope of the present disclosure. The sensing unit may be a touch sensor, for example, for detecting a user touch being applied to the band of material.

The electronics component may comprise an output unit such as for providing an output to the skin surface of when worn. The output unit may comprise a haptic feedback unit arranged to apply haptic feedback to a wearer. The output unit may comprise any other form of output unit arranged to apply a signal to a skin surface of a wearer when worn. Audio, visual and electrical feedbacks are within the scope of the present disclosure.

The sensing unit such as an electrode may be attached to the band of material.

The sensing unit such as an electrode may be integral with the band of material.

The band of material may comprise a first surface and a second surface opposing the first surface. The second surface may be arranged to face into the space. The first surface may be arranged to face away from the space.

The connection interface may be provided on the second surface. The band of material may comprise an electronics component. The electronics component may be provided on the second surface.

Advantageously, the connection interface, electronics component and conductive pathway, if present, may all be provided on the second surface. This simplifies manufacture and cost of the wearable article as the elements can simply all be applied or otherwise formed on the same surface, and as a result, a conductive connection is not required to be formed through the band of material.

The band may be arranged to surround a circumference of a wearer.

The band may form a continuous loop of material.

The band may comprise a first end and a second end. The first end and the second end may comprise fasteners to enable the first end to be releasably connected to the second end. The first end and second end may be separately connected to another article. The article may be the adjuster.

The wearable article may further comprise an electronics module. The electronics module may comprise a processor. The electronics module may comprise an interface element for interfacing with the connection interface (if present) of the band of material. The electronics module may comprise a power source. The electronics module may comprise a communicator for communicating with an external device.

The adjuster may comprise a first passageway and a second passageway sized to receive the band of material.

The adjuster may comprise a rigid material. The rigid material may comprise a polymeric material such as polyacetal (POM).

The adjuster may comprise a flexible material. The flexible material may comprise a fabric material. The adjuster may form part of a garment.

The adjuster may comprise an insulating material. Advantageously, a non-conductive insulating material helps protect against forming an unwanted electrical connection between the connection interface and the adjuster.

The adjuster may comprise a waterproof material. The adjuster may comprise a first rigid section and a second rigid section. The first and second rigid sections may be joined together by a flexible material.

The band of material may comprise a fabric.

The band of material may comprise a plurality of connection interfaces. When the electronics module is positioned in the space, the electronics module may be brought into communication with the plurality of connection interfaces.

The band of material may comprise a plurality of electronics components. The connection interface may be connected to the plurality of electronics components. A plurality of connection interfaces may be connected to the plurality of electronics components. Each of the connection interfaces may be connected to one of the electronics components.

The band of material is not required to comprise a connection interface. The band of material is not required to comprise any electrical components and may be a simple fabric or other form of flexible band.

The electronics module may be a self-contained electronics device. The electronics module may comprise one or more sensors such as motion sensors or temperature sensors for monitoring the activity of the wearer of the article. The electronics module may comprise a location tracking module such as a Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) module. The electronics module may be a mobile device such as a mobile phone. The wearable article may provide a convenient mechanism for holding a mobile device while performing exercise.

The band of material may comprise an elastic material.

According to a second aspect of the disclosure, there is provided a method of forming a wearable article. The method comprises providing a band of material. The method comprises providing an adjuster. The method comprises passing the band of material through the adjuster to define a space between the band of material and the adjuster for receiving the electronics module.

The wearable article may be the wearable article of the first aspect of the disclosure.

According to a third aspect of the disclosure, there is provided a wearable article comprising: a band of material defining a first surface and a second surface, the band of material comprises a connection interface for interfacing with an electronics module and an electronics component, wherein the electronics component and the connection interface are provided on the second surface; and an adjuster comprising at least one passageway sized to receive the band of material.

The wearable article may comprise any of the features of the first aspect of the disclosure.

Brief Description of the Drawings

Examples of the present disclosure will now be described with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:

Figure 1 shows a plan view of a second surface of a band of material according to aspects of the present disclosure;

Figure 2 shows a side view of the band of material of Figure 1 ;

Figure 3 shows a plan view of a first surface of an adjuster according to aspects of the present disclosure;

Figure 4 shows a sectional view of the adjuster of Figure 3;

Figure 5 shows a plan view of an example wearable article comprising a band of material and an adjuster according to aspects of the present disclosure;

Figure 6 shows a side view of the wearable article of Figure 5;

Figure 7 shows the wearable article of Figure 5 when worn;

Figures 8 to 11 show plan views of example adjusters according to aspects of the present disclosure;

Figure 12 shows a flow diagram of an example method according to aspects of the present disclosure;

Figures 13 and 14 show perspective views of an example electronics module according to aspects of the present disclosure;

Figure 15 shows an exploded view of the electronics module of Figures 13 and 14; and

Figure 16 shows a schematic view of an example electronics module according to aspects of the present disclosure.

Detailed Description

The following description with reference to the accompanying drawings is provided to assist in a comprehensive understanding of various embodiments of the disclosure as defined by the claims and their equivalents. It includes various specific details to assist in that understanding but these are to be regarded as merely exemplary. Accordingly, those of ordinary skill in the art will recognize that various changes and modifications of the various embodiments described herein can be made without departing from the scope and spirit of the disclosure. In addition, descriptions of well-known functions and constructions may be omitted for clarity and conciseness. The terms and words used in the following description and claims are not limited to the bibliographical meanings, but, are merely used by the inventor to enable a clear and consistent understanding of the disclosure. Accordingly, it should be apparent to those skilled in the art that the following description of various embodiments of the disclosure is provided for illustration purpose only and notforthe purpose of limiting the disclosure as defined by the appended claims and their equivalents.

It is to be understood that the singular forms “a,” “an,” and “the” include plural referents unless the context clearly dictates otherwise.

“Wearable article” as referred to throughout the present disclosure may refer to any form of article which may be worn by a user. The wearable article may be a smartwatch, wrist strap, wrist band, armband or chest band. The wearable article may be or may be part of a garment. The garment may refer to an item of clothing or apparel. The garment may be a top. The top may be a shirt, t-shirt, blouse, sweater, jacket/coat, or vest. The garment may be a dress, brassiere, shorts, pants, arm or leg sleeve, vest, jacket/coat, glove, armband, underwear, headband, hat/cap, collar, wristband, stocking, sock, or shoe, athletic clothing, personal protecting equipment, swimwear, wetsuit or drysuit

The wearable article be tight-fitting garment. Beneficially, a tight-fitting article helps ensure that the sensor units of the wearable article are held in contact with or in the proximity of a skin surface of the user. The wearable article may comprise an elastic material and may apply compression to the wearer.

The wearable article may be constructed from a woven or a non-woven material. The wearable article may be constructed from natural fibres, synthetic fibres, or a natural fibre blended with one or more other materials which can be natural or synthetic. The yarn may be cotton. The cotton may be blended with polyester and/or viscose and/or polyamide according to the particular application. Silk may also be used as the natural fibre. Cellulose, wool, hemp and jute are also natural fibres that may be used in the wearable article. Polyester, polycotton, nylon and viscose are synthetic fibres that may be used in the wearable article.

Referring to Figures 1 to 7, there is shown a wearable article 10 comprising a band of material 100, an adjuster 200 and an electronics module 300 according to aspects of the present disclosure.

The band of material 100 is an elongate band 100. The band of material 100 is thin with a width greater than its thickness. The band of material 100 comprises a fabric base layer 101 formed of an elastic fabric material. The fabric base layer 101 defines a first surface 103 and a second surface 105 opposing the first surface 103. The first and second surfaces 103, 105 extend along the length of the fabric base layer 101 .

The band of material 100 comprises two sensing components 107, 109 that are attached to the second surface 105 of the fabric base layer 101. The two sensing components 107, 109 are provided to measure signals from a body surface of a wearer when the band of material 100 is worn and/or apply signals to the body surface.

The two sensing components 107, 109 each comprise an electrode 111 , 113 and a connection interface 115, 117. For each of the sensing components 107, 109, a conductive pathway extends from the electrode 111 , 113 to the connection interface 115, 117 to electrically connect the electrode 111 , 113 to the connection interface 115, 117. The conductive pathway in this example is covered by an insulating layer 119, 121 which is adhesively bonded to the conductive pathway region of the sensing components 107, 109 and prevents the conductive pathway from contacting a skin surface of a wearer of the band of material 100. The electrodes 111 , 113 are not covered by the insulating layer 119, 121 . The insulating layer 119, 121 is not required in all aspects of the disclosure.

The two sensing components 107, 109 are arranged such that the connection interfaces 115, 117 are positioned proximate to one another and the electrodes 111 , 113 are spaced apart from one another along the length direction of the band of material 100.

The electrodes 111 , 113 and conductive pathway are formed from strips of conductive fabric material. The fabric material comprises a non-conductive base layer 123, 125 and a conductive layer stitched, woven, knitted, embroidered, or otherwise attached to the non-conductive base layer 123, 125. At least part of the conductive layer extends away from the non-conductive base layer to form a raised, three-dimensional, electrode 111 , 113 surface. The electrode 111 , 113 may have a tubular, convex shape for example.

The connection interfaces 115, 117 are metal snap connectors 115, 117 which are stitched into the band of material 101 and conductively connected to the strip of conductive material forming the electrodes 111 , 113 and the conductive pathways.

The sensing components 107, 109 are not required to have this particular construction. Rather than using metal snap connectors 115, 117 other forms of connection interfaces 115, 117 may be used. For example, the connection interfaces 115, 117 may be formed from conductive fabric in the same way as the electrodes 111 , 113. The connection interfaces 115, 117 may form raised conductive fabric regions. In some examples, the connection interfaces 115, 117 comprise one or more antennas for forming an inductive coupling.

The sensing components 107, 109 may be formed by stitching, knitting, weaving, or embroidering conductive yarn. The sensing components 107, 109 may be formed from conductive inks or transfers which may be printed or otherwise applied to the fabric base layer 101.

The electrodes 111 , 113 and conductive pathways in this example are adhesively bonded to the second surface 105 of the fabric base layer 101. In other examples, the electrodes 111 , 113, conductive pathways, and even the connection interfaces 115, 117 may be integrally formed with the fabric base layer 101 such as by being integrally stitched, knit, woven or embroidered with the fabric base layer 101 .

The wearable article 10 further comprises an adjuster 200. The adjuster 200 may be a conventional strap adjuster such as a slider has and, in this example, has a generally quadrangular shape.

The adjuster 200 comprises a frame 201 that defines a first surface 203 and a second surface 205 that oppose one another. The adjuster 200 comprises a first passageway 207 and a second passageway 209 that are bounded by the material of the frame 201 . The first and second passageways 207, 209 extend through the adjuster 200 from the first surface 203 to the second surface 205. The first and second passageways 207, 209 are sized to receive the band of material 100 therethrough. The first and second passageways 207, 209 in this example are slots 207, 209 that have a generally rectangular sectional shape that corresponds to but is larger than the sectional shape of the band of material 100.

The second surface 105 of the band of material 100 and the second surface 205 of the adjuster 200 may be referred to as inner surfaces and face the skin surface when worn. The first surface 103 of the band of material and the first surface 203 of the slider 200 may be referred to as outer surfaces and face away from the skin surface when worn.

The band of material 100 passes through the first passageway 207 and the second passageway 209 to form a loop of material. That is to say, the band of material 101 is introduced into the first passageway 207 from the second surface 205, is upwardly passed through the first passageway 207, and then downwardly passed through the second passageway 209. This loop of material defines a space 127 between the band of material 100 and the adjuster 200. The band of material 100 is threaded such that the first surface 103 of the band of material 100 faces away from the space 127 and the second surface 105 of the band of material 101 faces into the space 127.

The band of material 100 is threaded such that the connection interfaces 115, 117 are arranged in the space 127. In this way, the connection interfaces 115, 117 face into the space 127 and the electrodes 111 , 113 are provided outside of the space 127. The adjuster 200 separates the connection interfaces 115, 117 from the electrodes 111 , 113. The connection interfaces 115, 117 are electrically connected to the electrodes 111 , 113 by the conductive pathways provided on the second surface 105 of the fabric band 101 . The conductive pathways extend through the passageways 207, 209 of the adjuster 200 to conductively connect the connection interface to the electrodes 111 , 113.

The wearable article 10 further comprises an electronics module 300 that is releasably coupled to the band of material 100. The space 127 is sized to receive the electronics module 300. When positioned in the space 127, the electronics module 300 is bounded by the band of material 100 and the slider 200. When the electronics module 300 is positioned in the space, the electronics module 300 separates the connection interfaces 115, 117 from the adjuster 200.

When the electronics module 300 is positioned in the space 127 the electronics module 300 is brought into communication with the sensing components 107, 109. The electronics module 300 has studs 301 , 303 protruding from a housing 305 of the electronics module 300. The studs 301 , 303 are for detachably fitting within a socket region of the snap connectors 115, 117 provided on the second surface 105 of the band of material 100.

The adjuster 200 can be slid on the band of material 100 to adjust the size of the space 127. Tensioning the band 100 such as by pulling or stretching the band 100 can cause the size of the space 127 to decrease to thus hold the electronics module 300 more tightly in place. This advantageously helps retain the electronics module 300 in place within the space 127, may also facilitate and/or maintain the communicative coupling between electronics module 300 and the sensing components 107, 109 via the connection interfaces 115, 117, and may also reduce the amount of movement of the electronics module 300 relative to the connection interfaces 115, 117 as a result of motion of the wearer for example.

The band of material 100 may be arranged to extend around a circumference of the wearer W. The band of material 100 may extend around the circumference of the wearer’s wrist, arm or chest for example. The band of material 100 may be referred to as a wristband, armband, or chest band. The fabric base layer 101 is elastic and in use is stretched across the circumference of the wearer W. This tensioning of the base layer 101 helps hold the electronics module 300 tightly in place within the space 127.

When worn, the electrodes 111 , 113 face the skin surface S of the wearer W and preferably contact the skin surface S to measure and/or apply signals to the skin surface S. The connection interface 115, 117 is spaced away from the skin surface S and separated from the skin surface S by the adjuster 200. This prevents the connection interfaces 115, 117 from coming into contact with, or close contact with, the skin surface S.

When the electronics module 300 is provided in the space 127, the electronics module 300 is spaced away from the skin surface S and does not push against the skin surface, does not push the electrodes 111 , 113 away from the skin surface or otherwise affect the quality of the signal measured or applied by the electrodes 111 , 113.

The adjuster 200 provides a waterproof or substantially waterproof layer that limits the ingress of water into the space 127. In this way, the risk of shorting of the connection interfaces 115, 117 or other negative effects as a result of sweat entering the space 127 are minimised. Moreover, limiting the ingress of sweat or other moisture into the space provides protection against water ingress into the electronics module 300. Furthermore, when the electronics module 300 is provided in the space 127, there is further separation between the connection interfaces 115, 117 and the skin surface S. The electronics module 300 may act as an additional waterproof barrier to prevent or reduce the likelihood of sweat or other moisture reaching the connection interfaces 115, 117.

These advantageous effects are achieved while providing the sensing component 107, 109 on the second surface 105. The connection interfaces 115, 117 are not required to be formed on the first surface 103 to separate the electronics module 300 from the skin surface. This means that additional hardware and constructions steps are not required. Holes do not need to be formed in the base layer 101 to enable an electronics module 300 positioned on the first surface 103 to contact the electrodes 111 , 113 located on the second surface 105. This simplifies manufacturer as additional manufacturing steps are not required, and specialist techniques such as heat-pressing, laser cutting and hole reinforcement are not required.

Providing the adjuster 300 enables a simpler and cheaper construction of the band of material 100 that requires fewer manufacturing steps and components.

Referring to Figure 8, there is shown another example adjuster 200 in accordance with the present disclosure. The adjuster 200 comprises a frame 201 that defines a first surface 203 and a second surface that oppose one another. The adjuster 200 comprises a first passageway 207 and a second passageway 209 that are bounded by the material of the frame 201 . The first and second passageways 207, 209 extend through the adjuster 200 from the first surface 203 to the second surface. The first and second passageways 207, 209 are sized to receive the band of material 100 therethrough. The first and second passageways 207, 209 in this example are interconnected by a central passageway 211 that extends between the first and second passageways 207, 209 and is arranged perpendicular to the first and second passageways 207, 209. The passageways 207, 209, 211 collectively form a balbis shape in the frame and, in particular, an “H”-shape.

Referring to Figure 9, there is shown another example adjuster 200 in accordance with the present disclosure. The adjuster 200 comprises a frame 201 that defines a first surface 203 and a second surface that oppose one another. The adjuster 200 comprises a first passageway 207 and a second passageway 209 that are bounded by the material of the frame 201 . The first and second passageways 207, 209 extend through the adjuster 200 from the first surface 203 to the second surface. The first and second passageways 207, 209 are sized to receive the band of material 100 therethrough. The first passageway 207 in this example is an embedded slot which is entirely bounded by the material of the frame 201 . The second passageway 209 is a slit that is only partially bounded by the material of the frame 201 .

Referring to Figure 10, there is shown another example adjuster 200 in accordance with the present disclosure. The adjuster 200 comprises a frame 201 that defines a first surface 203 and a second surface that oppose one another. The adjuster 200 comprises a first passageway 207 and a second passageway 209 that are bounded by the material of the frame 201 . The first and second passageways 207, 209 extend through the adjuster 200 from the first surface 203 to the second surface. The first and second passageways 207, 209 are sized to receive the band of material 100 therethrough. The first passageway 207 and the second passageway 209 are slits that is only partially bounded by the material of the frame 201 .

Referring to Figure 11 , there is shown another example adjuster 200 in accordance with aspects of the present disclosure.

The adjuster 200 comprises a first frame 201 that defines a first surface 203 and a second surface that oppose one another. The adjuster 200 comprises a first passageway 207 and a second passageway 209 that are bounded by the material of the frame 201 . The first and second passageways 207, 209 extend through the adjuster 200 from the first surface 203 to the second surface. The first and optionally the second passageway 207, 209 are sized to receive the band of material 100 therethrough. The first passageway 207 and the second passageway 209 are slots. The adjuster 200 comprises a second frame 213 that defines a first surface 203 and a second surface that oppose one another. The adjuster 200 comprises a third passageway 211 and a fourth passageway 215 that are bounded by the material of the second frame 213. The third and fourth passageways 211 , 215 extend through the second frame 213 from the first surface 203 to the second surface. The fourth and optionally the third passageway 215, 211 are sized to receive the band of material 100 therethrough. The third passageway 211 and the fourth passageway 215 are slots.

The adjuster 200 comprises a flexible material 217 that connects the first frame 201 to the second frame 213. The flexible material 217 passes through the second passageway 209 and the third passageway 211 .

In the above examples, the frames 201 , 213 of the adjuster 200 are generally made of a rigid material such as a rigid polymeric material. Preferably the rigid material is non-conductive. An example polymeric material for the frames 201 , 213 is polyacetal (POM).

In the above examples, the flexible material 217 are generally made of a fabric material such as a fabric material comprising elastic. The fabric material may be the same material as used to form the fabric base layer 101 of the band 100. The flexible material 217 may have waterproof properties so as to helps restrict the ingress of water into the space 127. The flexible material 217 may comprise a base fabric layer and a waterproof layer for example or may comprise a fabric layer which is treated with a waterproofing material.

The present disclosure is not limited to any particular design of adjuster 200. Any adjuster 200 comprising at least one passageway sized to receive the band of material 100 is within the scope of the present disclosure. The adjuster 200 may be any suitable form of strap adjuster as known in the art. The adjuster may have two passageways, or more than two passageways.

The band of material 100 in accordance with example aspects of the present disclosure comprises a first end and a second end. The band 100 may be passed through the adjuster 200 to form the space 127. The first end may then be joined to the second end to form a loop of material to surround a circumference of the wearer. The first end may be stitched or otherwise bonded to the second end so as to form a continuous loop of material. That is, the first end may be permanently attached to the second end. In other generally preferred examples, the first end may be releasably attached to the second end. The first end and the second end may both comprise an attachment mechanism to facilitate the releasable attachment. For example, the first end may comprise a male side release buckle and the second end may comprise a female side release buckle. The male side release buckle may be releasably attached to the female side release buckle to form the loop of material that may surround a circumference of the wearer. Other forms of fasteners such as other forms of buckle, hook and loop fasteners, buttons, poppers and zips are within the scope of the present disclosure.

In some examples, the adjuster 200 is formed from a fabric material. The adjuster 200 may form part of a garment such as part of a fabric layer of the garment. The garment may be a top such a bra, tank or t-shirt.

In this example, the band of material 100 may comprise a first end and a second end. The first end and second end may both be attached to the garment. The first end is not attached to the second end in this example.

The band of material 100 may be constructed from an elastic material. Beneficially, this means that when the electronics module 300 is positioned in the space 127, the band of material 100 urges against the electronics module 300 to help hold the electronics module 300 tightly within the space 127. In addition, the elastic material can help urge the sensing components 107, 109 against the skin surface of the wearer.

Referring to Figure 12, there is shown a flow diagram for an example method according to aspects of the present disclosure.

Step S101 of the method comprises providing a band of material such as a band of material comprising a connection interface for interfacing with an electronics module.

Step S102 of the method comprises providing an adjuster.

Step S103 of the method comprises passing the band of material through the adjuster to define a space between the band of material and the adjuster for receiving the electronics module.

Referring to Figures 13 to 15, there is shown an electronics module 300 according to example aspects of the present disclosure.

The electronics module 300 comprises a first interface element 301 and a second interface element 303. In this example, the first and second interface elements 301 , 303 are conductive spring pins. The interface elements 301 , 303 are arranged to interface with the connection interface 115, 117 of the band of material 100. The interface elements 301 , 303 extend through the housing 305 of the electronics module 300. The electronics module 300 further comprises a magnet 307. The magnet 307 may be provided to help facilitate attachment to the band of material 100. Corresponding magnetic material may be provided in or on the band of material 100 so that the electronics module 300 is magnetically attracted to the band of material.

The electronics module 300 further comprises a power source 309.

The electronics module300 further comprises a printed circuit board 311. The printed circuit board 311 comprises a controller 313, input unit 315, light source 319 and first communicator 317.

The electronics module 300 further comprises a second communicator 321 in the form of an RF communication antenna 321 that is spaced apart from the printed circuit board 311 . The antenna 321 has an aperture 323 so that it does not block the light source 319.

Referring to Figure 16, there is shown a schematic diagram of an example of the electronics module 300. The electronics module 300 comprises an interface 301 , 313, a power source 309, a controller 313, an input unit 315 and the communicator 317, 321 .

The interface 301 , 303 is arranged to communicatively couple with the connection interface of the fabric article so as to receive a signal from the sensing component. The controller 313 is communicatively coupled to the interface 301 , 303 and is arranged to receive the signals from the interface 301 , 303. The interface 301 , 303 may form a conductive coupling as described above or a wireless (e.g. inductive) communication coupling in some examples. That is, the connection interface of the band of material 100 may be in the form of an antenna for inductively coupling to a corresponding antenna of the interface 301 , 303.

The power source 309 is coupled to the controller 313 and is arranged to supply power to the controller 313. The power source 309 may comprise a plurality of power sources. The power source 309 may be a battery. The battery may be a rechargeable battery. The battery may be a rechargeable battery adapted to be charged wirelessly such as by inductive charging. The power source 309 may comprise an energy harvesting device. The energy harvesting device may be configured to generate electric power signals in response to kinetic events such as kinetic events performed by a wearer of the article 10. The kinetic event could include walking, running, exercising or respiration of the wearer. The energy harvesting material may comprise a piezoelectric material which generates electricity in response to mechanical deformation of the converter. The energy harvesting device may harvest energy from body heat of a wearer of the article 10. The energy harvesting device may be a thermoelectric energy harvesting device. The power source 309 may be a super capacitor, or an energy cell. The communicator 317, 321 may comprise a mobile/cellular communicator operable to communicate the data wirelessly via one or more base stations. The communicator 317, 321 may provide wireless communication capabilities for the wearable article 10 and enables the wearable article 10 to communicate via one or more wireless communication protocols such as used for communication over: a wireless wide area network (WWAN), a wireless metroarea network (WMAN), a wireless local area network (WLAN), a wireless personal area network (WPAN), Bluetooth ® Low Energy, Bluetooth ® Mesh, Bluetooth ® 5, Thread, Zigbee, IEEE 802.15.4, Ant, a near field communication (NFC), a Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS), a cellular communication network, or any other electromagnetic RF communication protocol.. The cellular communication network may be a fourth generation (4G) LTE, LTE Advanced (LTE- A), LTE Cat-M1 , LTE Cat-M2, NB-loT, fifth generation (5G), sixth generation (6G), and/or any other present or future developed cellular wireless network. A plurality of communicators 317, 321 may be provided for communicating over a combination of different communication protocols.

The input unit 315 enables the electronics module 300 to receive a user input for controlling the operation of the electronics module 300. The input unit 315 may be any form of input unit capable of detecting an input event. The input event is typically an object being brought into proximity with the electronics module 300.

In some examples, the input unit 315 comprises a user interface element such as a button. The button may be a mechanical push button. In some examples, the input unit 315 comprises an antenna. In these examples, the input event is detected by a current being induced in the antenna.

In some examples, the input unit 315 comprises a sensor such as a proximity sensor or motion sensor. The sensor may be a motion sensor that is arranged to detect a displacement of the electronics module 300 caused by an object being brought into proximity with the electronics module 300. These displacements of the electronics module 300 may be caused by the object being tapped against the electronics module 300. Physical contact between the object and the electronics module 300 is not required as the electronics module 300 be at least partially covered by the band of material 100 in the space 127.

The electronics module 300 may comprise other or additional sensors such as temperature sensors, chemical sensors, and location tracking modules such as a GNSS module. In examples of the present disclosure, the sensing unit incorporated into the band of material may be arranged to measure one or more biosignals of a user wearing the wearable article. Here, “biosignal” may refer to any signal in a living being that can be measured and monitored. The term “biosignal” is not limited to electrical signals and can refer to other forms of nonelectrical biosignals. The sensing units may be used for measuring one or a combination of bioelectrical, bioimpedance, biochemical, biomechanical, bioacoustics, biooptical or biothermal signals of the user. The bioelectrical measurements include electrocardiograms (ECG), electrogastrograms (EGG), electroencephalograms (EEG), and electromyography (EMG). The bioimpedance measurements include plethysmography (e.g., for respiration), body composition (e.g., hydration, fat, etc.), and electroimpedance tomography (EIT). The biomagnetic measurements include magnetoneurograms (MNG), magnetoencephalography (MEG), magnetogastrogram (MGG), magnetocardiogram (MCG). The biochemical measurements include glucose/lactose measurements which may be performed using chemical analysis of the user’s sweat. The biomechanical measurements include blood pressure. The bioacoustics measurements include phonocardiograms (PCG). The biooptical measurements include orthopantomogram (OPG). The biothermal measurements include skin temperature and core body temperature measurements. The sensing cunits may comprise a radar unit. The wearable article may sense a combination of external signals and biosignals of the user.

In the present disclosure, the electronics module may also be referred to as an electronics device or unit. These terms may be used interchangeably.

At least some of the example embodiments described herein may be constructed, partially or wholly, using dedicated special-purpose hardware. Terms such as ‘component’, ‘module’ or ‘unit’ used herein may include, but are not limited to, a hardware device, such as circuitry in the form of discrete or integrated components, a Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) or Application Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC), which performs certain tasks or provides the associated functionality. In some embodiments, the described elements may be configured to reside on a tangible, persistent, addressable storage medium and may be configured to execute on one or more processors. These functional elements may in some embodiments include, by way of example, components, such as software components, object-oriented software components, class components and task components, processes, functions, attributes, procedures, subroutines, segments of program code, drivers, firmware, microcode, circuitry, data, databases, data structures, tables, arrays, and variables. Although the example embodiments have been described with reference to the components, modules and units discussed herein, such functional elements may be combined into fewer elements or separated into additional elements. Various combinations of optional features have been described herein, and it will be appreciated that described features may be combined in any suitable combination. In particular, the features of any one example embodiment may be combined with features of any other embodiment, as appropriate, except where such combinations are mutually exclusive. Throughout this specification, the term “comprising” or “comprises” means including the component(s) specified but not to the exclusion of the presence of others. All of the features disclosed in this specification (including any accompanying claims, abstract and drawings), and/or all of the steps of any method or process so disclosed, may be combined in any combination, except combinations where at least some of such features and/or steps are mutually exclusive. Each feature disclosed in this specification (including any accompanying claims, abstract and drawings) may be replaced by alternative features serving the same, equivalent or similar purpose, unless expressly stated otherwise. Thus, unless expressly stated otherwise, each feature disclosed is one example only of a generic series of equivalent or similar features. The invention is not restricted to the details of the foregoing embodiment(s). The invention extends to any novel one, or any novel combination, of the features disclosed in this specification (including any accompanying claims, abstract and drawings), or to any novel one, or any novel combination, of the steps of any method or process so disclosed.