#TechTuesday: A touchscreen on your t-shirt!
Graphene Flagship researchers are driving the rapid development of graphene-enabled wearable technology, using the unique physical properties of graphene.
When you think of graphene and electronics, you may not immediately imagine yourself wearing them. However, you could soon find graphene-enabled outfits right within your wardrobe!
Wearable technology, gadgets more commonly known as ‘wearables’, are electronic devices worn as accessories, embedded in clothing, and even implanted in the body. The accelerated adoption of these devices has placed wearables at the forefront of the Internet of things (IoT).
Graphene Flagship Business Developer Henrik Sandberg and scientists at VTT, the Technical Research Centre of Finland, have used flexible electronics on comfortable substrates to enable smart textiles. These include a touch-sensitive t-shirt, featured in the video, with a graphene-based printed capacitive touch panel. The touch sensitive electrodes embedded in the fabric of this t-shirt transform into any electronic device you can dream of. In this demonstration, the t-shirt becomes a TV remote that’s really hard to misplace!
The outstanding physical properties of graphene, such as its strength, conductivity, and thinness, all play a pivotal role in driving wearable technology, enabling lightweight and unobtrusive devices. However, the best part of graphene could be its ability to stretch and bend, allowing for 10% stretching of conductive wires without significant loss in conductivity.
From smart textiles to health tracking devices, and flexible power sources, the functional possibilities of wearable technologies are boundless, and the Graphene Flagship are continuing to demonstrate products and prototypes far beyond the current state-of-the-art.