Researchers at the University of Tokyo published an article describing a new form of conductive ink that allows electronics to be printed onto stretchable textiles through a single-step printing process. Thanks to the silver flakes mixed into the ink, it can be stretched more than three times its original length.
When we think of wearable technology, we tend to think of smart watches, or maybe Google Glass. The wearable market has not seen very much advancement in the clothing department. But this sort of technology could enable wearable smart clothing and not just accessories like watches, wristbands and glasses.
Last December, DuPont introduced its own suite of stretchable electronic ink materials, which allows the process of creating thin, form-fitting circuits that can be bonded with standard fabric.
You may recall that Google’s Project Jacquard weaves touch sensors into fabric using conductive thread so you can control your smartphone from your Levi’s.
As researchers continue to make advancements in wearable technology, we get closer to a world of connected clothing. Printable conductive ink could potentially allow fitness fashion companies to create workout gear that tracks your heart rate, GPS location, and movement.
Instead of strapping on an accessory like a smart watch, or carrying around a monitor in your pocket, you could get the same amount of useful data simply by putting on a t-shirt.
Smart socks could provide information on how you walk or run so you can find the perfect shoe for your stride. Smart leggings might be able to send precise data on how many inches you’ve lost.
The technology exists now. It is simply a matter of figuring out the best way to implement it into consumer products in such a way that will get the average person excited about tracking their fitness.
via Digital Trends