Working with Hokkaido University, Kuraray Living has created a soft washable fabric woven with carbon nanotube coated fibers that produces heat when electricity is applied. So when it's perfected, your electric blanket could get a lot less bulky. The material has been in development since 2007, but recent advancements in carbon nanotube technology have given its creators hope that it could be used in commercial products as early as 2013.
Thanks to a new dispersion technology using a zwitterionic surfactant (a special type of dispersant solution in which a single molecule can have both positive and negative electrical charges simultaneously) developed and patented by us at Hokkaido University, it is now possible to achieve non-destructive dispersion of CNT agglomerates into individual tubes(Fig. 1).
During January to middle of March in 2009, the conductive fabric/heater system was installed in the water storage tank of JR Hokkaido's "Ryuhyo-Norokko" train that runs between Shiretoko-Shari and Awashiri. According to JR Hokkaido railway company, the fabric heater shows good performance in preventing the water from freezing in wintertime, when the temperature inside this train drops to around -20°C (Fig. 4)
Here is one more example. A CNTs-based road heating system has been
in use in Sapporo Campus at the sidewalk near the main entrance of
Hokkaido University. A CNT-coated heat-generating yarn tucked, with the
help of a rubber mat, under the interlocked base material serves as the
source of heat for snow-melting (Fig. 5).