The wearables market has seen some impressive growth in the last few years, but with smartwatch sales starting to drop, we’re starting see a new generation of wearables emerging. There’s been innovations such as sports clothing which have embedded activity monitors, tailored suits loaded with technology and insoles which track the user’s runs, and we can expect to see more devices like this. A study by Gartner predicted that in 2017, 30% of wearable technology would be invisible to the eye, so we can expect wearable technology to start being integrated onto clothing or even placed directly onto skin.
Placing wearable technology onto skin isn’t as far away as it seems. 2016 has seen considerable innovation into wearable technology tattoos which allow for sensors and circuitry to be transferred directly onto skin where the technology can be used for health monitoring, activity monitoring or even GPS tracking. This is a huge step forward for the industry and paves the way for devices which are completely hidden and wearable. These wearable technology tattoos use the wearer’s skin as the carrier for the electronics, which gets rid of any thickness of inflexibility in their product.
But wearable technology tattoos and the next generation of wearables bring up new design considerations and flexible electronic solution providers are going to have to get involved. If technology such as this is going to be effective in the market, it’s going to have be truly unobtrusive and anatomically designed. End users of this technology are expecting devices to be easier to wear and much more inconspicuous. The best way to achieve this is to step back from traditional hard substrate electronics and turn to flexible electronic solutions.
Another important consideration is the stress points caused to the product by wearing the device. Forcing the electronics into a shape that fits the body is going to cause stress points to form in the device’s electronics. What we bring to the table is considerable expertise in created curved electronics. We place components in a way which allows for stress points and deformity to occur in a planned way as the device is worn, which results in a much more reliable and effective wearable device. Our flexible electronic solutions break down design barriers to curved design and make your products lighter and more wearable.
What could you achieve if there were no design barriers? What if your circuit was printed directly onto your substrate, whatever curved shape it may be? Or if your circuit was cheaper, smaller and lighter? Find out what In2tec could offer you by getting in touch.