Material world: What future wearables will be made of

Wearable tech may be the future, but we’re still heavily reliant on the materials that we’ve been using for years in bigger devices like smartphones – largely metal and plastic. The problem is, these are simply too bulky for many wearable innovations. What we need is a whole new range of flexible smart textiles to get us to the next level.

From energy-harvesting copper yarn to fabrics inspired by electric eels, here are just a few of the next-gen materials that future wearables will be made of…

Ferroelectric material

Material world: What future wearables will be made of

One group of scientists has pinpointed a material that can harness kinetic energy, heat and sunlight – all at the same time. Known as KBNNO, the substance is a type of mineral called perovskite. The material is ferroelectric, and so can be used to generate electricity by applying heat or pressure. This could supplement the battery in wearable gadgets and eventually even replace batteries altogether.

The researchers, from the University of Oulu in Finland, hope to build a multi-energy-harvesting device within the next year, so it’s possible that KBNNO could be used in consumer gadgets by the end of the decade…

You can read the full article at Wareable (originally published 28 February 2017).

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