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Flexible and Wearables

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Graphene for flexible and wearables applications

Wearable technologies have been used to augment our capabilities for the past centuries, dating back to the invention of the mechanical watch in the 15th century. Today's smart watches have become accompanied by a range of wearable gadgets such as smart bracelets, jewelry, patches and other similar devices. Ubiquitous computing and its integration with accessories such as bands, watches, glasses, clothing and implants, have resulted in an enhanced intra- and interconnectivity among humans and their environment. From measuring vital signs to sensing environmental conditions are all part of a future where wearables would play a key role in our decision making and actions in life. 

This future is on our doorstep thanks to recent technological advancements but requires a step-change in the building blocks of wearable technologies. Metals can be expensive, toxic and their performance degrades when subjected to mechanical stresses while traditional semiconductors are rigid with limited optoelectronic properties. There is a demand for unobtrusive, soft and light smart devices that could be worn un-noticed. Graphene and other 2-dimensional materials are, due to their inherent properties, extremely suitable for such devices. They offer an alternative material platform for the creation of low-cost and multifunctional wearable products with unique form factors. Prototypes of health tracking devices, environmental sensors, durable e-textiles and flexible power sources, to name a few, have been developed and demonstrated additional functionalities beyond the limits of the state-of-the-art. 

The current flexible and wearable market presents a promising area for fast adaptation of layered materials. This is particularly true for low-cost, environmentally-friendly applications such as printed matter (posters, packages, etc.) and textiles with sensing capabilities. 

Henrik Sandberg, Business Developer for flexible and wearable applications for the Graphene Flagship

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