Chinese scientists have unveiled next-generation wearable tech in the form of flexible, breathable electronic fabric which serves as a wearable, washable, interactive display, with diverse applications from telecoms to medicine.

Polymer scientists at Fudan University in Shanghai achieved the remarkable feat by weaving electrically conductive transparent fibers and luminescent threads together with cotton yarn.

This intricate yet flexible framework could form the basis for ‘smart clothing’ to accompany the already largely ubiquitous smartphones and smart watches seen around the developed world today.

Their wearable displays are reportedly about as bright as the average flat-screen TV and their performance prototype withstood 1,000 cycles of bending, stretching and pressing, and somewhat miraculously, 100 cycles of washing and drying.

Not content with this stress test, the Chinese material wizards developed an interactive, 16-button fabric keyboard, comprising solar-energy-harvesting threads. That’s right, a light-up garment that charges itself, thanks to interwoven battery fibers.

Prototype users could send and receive messages from their sleeves and see their real-time locations displayed on a map, while added electronics afforded wireless blue-tooth capabilities to the clever clothes.

The potential for the tech is staggering and crosses numerous and diverse industries, most notably remote healthcare.

The researchers produced a textile display which showed volunteers' brain-wave activity, as monitored by wearable headsets.

The volunteers were asked to meditate and when the wearable system detected the low-frequency brain waves emitted, it displayed that they were in a “relaxed” state.

When asked to play a high-intensity racing game, the opposite occurred, as the display indicated they were “anxious.”