Wearable Devices That Could Heal Themselves When They Break
11/15/2016 7:55:37 AM
A sports bra that monitors your workout. A suit that lets you swap business cards digitally. A beanie hat that tracks your newborn’s vitals. Smart garments like these hint at a future coming up fast, with wearable electronics integrated into our clothing or even our skin, capable of constantly monitoring our biology and tracking our social interactions.
Endless though the possibilities seem, most wearable electronics today are expensive and complicated to make, with multiple moving parts. One option for making cheaper components en masse is to print electronic devices, using a process that looks much like conventional printing, but with special, electrically functional inks. The promise of printed electronics is low-cost, flexible devices — including batteries and sensors, and wearable circuits that can be incorporated into smart clothing. But the multibillion-dollar industry has a major downfall: Printed electronics are fragile.
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