Wearables and Printed Electronics
Since many years so called wearables are known, for instance as hearing aids, as skiing jackets or as astronauts’ suits where vital parameters like heart rates of the wearer are measured, transferred for further analysis to a central computer or smartphone and sent back for getting actual feedback. During the last years technologies like flexible, stretchable or organic electronics emerged or have been improved and today functional layers and structures can be produced by additive printing technologies, to be integrated in wearable elements. When combining flexible electronics with standard technologies like microelectronics, SMD-soldering, MEMS production or electronic packaging techniques, the new field of hybrid electronics is born, leading to completely new products and applications. Flexible substrates consisting of PET, paper or elastomers are assembled by not yet printable silicon based microelectronic parts like ICs and printed by force, temperature or humidity sensitive structures as well as by batteries. During low temperature processing rigid electronic parts are connected to the printed conductive structures by isotropic or anisotropic conductive glue or film or even be new soldering techniques and afterwards flexibly sealed and encapsulated. In the course of bilateral or public funded projects new systems and technologies for applications in sports, medicine, work space safety, demographic change or ambient assisted living like autonomous shoe sensing inlays or lactate sensing wristbands have been developed and produced at the ISIT.