Conductive ink is hardly a new technology, but while current methods of conductive printing are limited to rigid materials such as plastic and paper, researchers at the University of Tokyo have developed a new, more versatile conductive ink that could revolutionize the world of electronic and interactive apparel.
The new conductive ink was developed by Professor Takao Someya's research group and is unique for its elasticity. Not only can the ink be printed onto textiles in one simple step (which is itself an improvement upon previous conductive inks), but the elastic property of the ink allows it to remain highly conductive even when it is stretched to three times its original length. The research team was successful in using the conductive ink to produce a wristband able to measure muscle activity.
While it may be some time before this innovative technology is perfected enough to hit the market -- considering many sports apparel companies have sought out monitoring technology to include on their apparel -- this new conductive ink will no doubt be in high demand.
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