A flexible, stretchable fabric-based light-emitting-diode (LED) display is built into a comfortable fabric by Imec and partners.
Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.eetimes.com
As seen in the photo, the flexible fabric is both stretchable and conformable to the body of the wearer. Laminated into the fabric are thin-film transistor (TFT) driven light emitting diodes (LEDs) on a tough polyamide substrate encapsulated into soft rubber. The fabric is both comfortable to wear, as well as washable using normal machines set, no doubt, on delicate (although no commercial clothing has yet to be made from the prototype material). Since the research centers cooperative activities include potable medical devices, the fabric could be linked to sensors to accurately read-out health parameters that vary over the body of the wearer, such as temperature, oxygen levels, circulation, activity levels and more, providing real-time feedback—for the users themselves or for healthcare providers, according to Imec. The collaborators hope to make the process inexpensive enough to build into everyday fabrics used in many if not all of our clothing, so that the user does not have to remember to wear his activity- or health-monitor, because they will already be built into their clothing. Fashion designers will, of course, try to make use of the color changing ability to enhance the appearance of the user. However, Imec and its collaborators want to make the fabric’s active devices as unobtrusive and comfortable as possible so that people will be more inclined to wear them everyday, hence improving the long-term quality of the big-data being collected. Imec and its collaborators are also trying to make the display integrated into the fabric interactive—like touchscreens—so their functions can be changed without separate control apparatuses.