A team of researchers from Holst Centre at Ghent University have produced the world’s first stretchable thin-film transistor driven by LED display which is laminated into textiles. This new discovery paves the way for LED displays in wearable clothing.
“Wearable devices such as healthcare monitors and activity trackers are now a part of everyday life for many people. Today’s wearables are separate devices that users must remember to wear. The next step forward will be to integrate these devices into our clothing,” according to Phys.org.
Integrating such devices into clothing would make the devices more comfortable, thus encouraging people to use them more frequently.
“Wearable devices allow people to monitor their fitness and health so they can live full and active lives for longer. But to maximize the benefits wearables can offer, they need to be able to provide feedback on what users are doing as well as measuring it. By combining imec’s patented stretch technology with our expertise in active-matrix backplanes and integrating electronics into fabrics, we’ve taken a giant step towards that possibility,” Edsger Smits, senior research scientist at Holst Centre, said.
“The LED displays are fabricated on a polyimide substrate and encapsulated in rubber, allowing the displays to be laminated in to textiles that can be washed. Importantly, the technology uses fabrication steps that are known to the manufacturing industry, enabling rapid industrialization,” according to Phys.org.