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Printed Electronics World
Posted on June 21, 2021 by  & 

Printed Electronics for Fashionable Wearables

Look around at any of the major fashion brands, and you start to see a pattern: there is not much there in the way of design-oriented, pro-science thinking. Those worlds have, unfortunately, remained separate for the most part. The general message that society is sending could not be any clearer: you can be beautiful, you can be smart, but you cannot be both.
At Art by Physicist, Dr. Kitty Yeung has a different way to view fashion - as an encapsulation of art, science, engineering, and design all in one. Launching a Kickstarter campaign, Dr Yeung has designed and is launching a range of fashion items that integrates art and technology. These products have come to fruition through collaboration with ARMOR Solar Power Films, Loomia and NovaCentrix, organizations which Dr Yeung engaged with at IDTechEx events. For further information see the IDTechEx report on Flexible, Printed and Organic Electronics 2020-2030: Forecasts, Technologies, Markets.
Solar-powered overcoat and dress
Charging your electronics with lotus solar panels, which are flexible and integrated into an overcoat featuring paintings of a lotus pond.
The lotus solar panels, which are OPV panels provided by ARMOR, can charge a phone battery by ~30% within 5 hours, and this number can increase with a longer exposure, including indoor lighting.
Heated reversible coat
This thin coat, has a thin and flexible e-textile heating pad made by Loomia. The heater warms up within 60 seconds. The temperature is adjustable, and the heater can be charged with portable USB phone batteries. The coat is reversible, and has beautiful hand-painted perennials on both sides.
Constellation LED shirt and dress
Art by Physicist innovated on flexible fabric circuit technology with NovaCentrix, making a customizable LED shirt.
Bluetooth wearable brooches
Kitty's Flower is a pair of Bluetooth wearable brooches, which can be programmed to interact with one another. The brooches allow family and friends to interact. They are also a platform for kids to use to learn programming.
Jointly created by Art by Physicist and DFRobot, they contain an integrated power management system, RGB LED lights, an accelerometer, a touch sensor and a vibrating motor. The brooches support Arduino and Scratch programming, and can be used as the core intelligent control unit for wearable products, interactive art installations, and new accessories. The brooches come in matched pairs (see top image).
Integrating Garment Manufacturing with Electronics
Fashion garments usually take a long time to develop and produce (9 months or more, excluding time for establishing the supply chain). Moreover, garment manufacturing and electronics manufacturing are separate industries that are poorly integrated. The industry has not been set up to easily integrate electronics into garments. Dr Yeung explains, "We're setting out to change this. We began by making tech-less designs, and now, we are integrating technology into them. We have previously had tech-less versions of the Lotus overcoat and Guilin dress which we have sold through our brand's website. Now, we are adding tech functionality that matches perfectly with these designs. The success of this Kickstarter project will allow us to produce V2 and ship in October of this year."
Source: Dr KittyYeung
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