By Guillaume Chansin 

This is part 2 of my summary for the Wearable Technology Show 2018. Go to part 1 for the products in Augmented Reality and Health and Fitness monitoring.

Flexible and stretchable sensors

This stretch sensor uses a metal nanoparticle ink that has piezoresistive properties.

The piezoelectric material shown here outputs a voltage every time it is flexed. It can be used as a sensor or energy harvester (although the power generated is usually not high enough for practical use).

These flexible humidity sensors were made by the University of Exeter by printing graphene.

Infitex was demonstrating a large area pressure sensor array. The whisky bottle next to it was definitely not for luring people to the booth.


I see more and more e-textiles in technology events. However, the range of applications is still fairly limited to things like ECG or pressure sensing. The three examples below show various types of implementations (smart sleeve, smart shirt, smart sock).

For e-textile technologists, an important decision is which type of ink to print on the fabric. Here is an example with a copper formulation. It can be used to print antenna in the 2.4 GHz band.

In this demo, the ink can be simply paint brushed directly on the fabric and provides enough conductivity to the LEDs. This is very convenient for artists and designers who just want to create something quickly.

In other cases, the conductivity comes from the thread itself. The sensor can be directly embroidered inside the fabric.

It was certainly unusual to see industrial embroidery machinery at a technology event.

ZSK wanted to show how you can use embroidery to create circuits (in this example lighting up a row of LEDs).

In this other example, the circuit also acts as touch sensors for a mini piano.

Are you interested in integrating these technologies? Contact us if you think we can help you.
Thanks for reading!